While crimes have been dropped, Scott and other protesters are still being charged with misconduct.
Crime charges have been brought against a Kentucky lawmaker and others arrested last month during protests demanding justice for Breonna Taylor.
Prosecutors lacked evidence to pursue the charges against State Representative Attica Scott and 17 others, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said during a trial in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday.
Afterward, Scott told supporters gathered outside that the arrests would not prevent them from speaking for Taylor, saying, “We will turn our protests into politics.” She introduced laws banning search warrants in Kentucky and introducing new requirements for police practice.
“These accusations won’t stop us. It won’t stop the revolution, “said Scott on Tuesday before leading the crowd to sing.” You can’t stop the revolution. “
Police said Scott was in a group last month that was supposed to disperse but didn’t. Members of the group damaged several buildings, including setting fire to a library, police said.
A man holds up a sign after a grand jury decided to charge one of three white police officers with willfully endangering the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police at her Louisville, Kentucky apartment [Bryan Woolston/Reuters]Democratic lawmakers have called the charges “ridiculous” and told reporters the day after their arrest that there was “no way” they tried to damage the library.
During Tuesday’s hearing, O’Connell said there was evidence of property damage to buses and the library on the night of September 24th when Scott and the others were arrested.
But he added, “We need clear evidence that these people before you today worked with those who committed this property damage. The evidence we have examined so far does not support this. “
Proceeding on riot charges would not be a “fair outcome” for these defendants, he said.
Misconduct charges of unlawful assembly and non-apportionment are pending against Scott and other defendants. Prosecutors need more time to review these allegations, O’Connell said.
Scott said Tuesday that she and others will be on trial again next month to “address these false allegations.”
Scott was among hundreds of people protesting in downtown Louisville after grand jury hearings on Taylor’s death failed to result in charges against police officers for shooting into the black woman’s home and killing her during a drug attack in March.
A lone officer was charged with shooting into a neighboring apartment. No drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment.
Scott was arrested while walking to a church that gave shelter to protesters.
A man kneels before a line of Kentucky State Troopers during a protest against the deaths of Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Police and George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police in Louisville, Kentucky [Bryan Woolston/Reuters]Scott, who is Black, has said her arrest makes her more determined to push for her criminal justice laws. The measure, if passed, would be referred to as the “Breonna Act”. She plans to offer the bill when Kentucky’s Republican-controlled legislature returns early next year.
Another Democratic lawmaker, State Representative Lisa Willner, said she was working on laws that would limit the scope of Kentucky’s insurgency law in response to her colleague’s arrest. The proposal would protect people from being charged with first degree riot if they are present but are not engaging in destructive or violent acts.