The Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, today released the following statement after reports that one person was killed and at least one person was wounded Saturday afternoon at Jefferson Square Park in Louisville. According to the New York Times, the park has become a central point for demonstrators protesting the police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
“It’s heartbreaking to wake up to another shooting in our community – especially one which seems to have been fueled by hate,” said Derry Smith, a volunteer leader with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As Americans, it’s our right to assemble, and we should be able to do so without the fear of being shot. We will keep demanding justice for people like Breonna Taylor, gun safety laws from our leaders, and continue to fight for the safer Kentucky we all deserve.”
According to the Courier-Journal, the shooting took place after counterprotesters and “armed patriot groups” were organizing on social media to show up to police violence protests in Louisville. Demonstrations have continued to take place in Louisville over the killing of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed in her home by police in March. Taylor’s death, and the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, have spurred protests across the country over racial injustice and police violence.
Every day in the U.S., on average, more than 100 Americans are killed with guns, and hundreds more are shot and wounded. In Kentucky, more than 700 people die by guns in an average year. And in April, the Courier-Journal reported that Louisville was on track for one of the worst years for gun violence in recent history. More information on gun violence in Kentucky is available here.