Kentucky's Only Black Woman Representative Arrested During Breonna Taylor Protest: 'Deeply Unbelievable'

Kentucky State Rep. Attica Scott wrote "Breonna's Law," which seeks to end no-knock warrants across the state

Kentucky Democratic State Representative Attica Scott
Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott. Photo: Bryan Woolston/AP/Shutterstock

Rep. Attica Scott, the only Black woman in Kentucky's House of Representatives, was released from jail on Friday morning after being arrested during protests against this week’s grand jury decision on the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Scott, 48, called felony rioting charges levied against her "ridiculous" and "absurd," The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The lawmaker was arrested with a group of people who were accused by police of starting a fire at the Louisville Public Library, according to WAVE 3. Scott told the Courier-Journal she was "disgusted and offended" by the accusation that she'd start a fire at the library, pointing out it's located in the district she represents.

On Friday, Scott posted a video to her Instagram account which documents the eight minutes leading up to her arrest and shows her with a group of others walking peacefully around the downtown area. In the footage, the group asks police where they should walk as they head towards sanctuary at a local church.

Kentucky Democratic State Representative Attica Scott
Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott speaks during a news conference in Louisville, on September 25, 2020. Darron Cummings/AP/Shutterstock
Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor. Instagram

Demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality have taken place in Louisville this week following a grand jury’s decision in Jefferson County which opted not to charge any of the three officers involved in Taylor’s death.

Activists, celebrities, athletes, politicians and more have spoken out against the decision, which placed no legal responsibility on the three officers—Det. Miles Cosgrove, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and former detective Brett Hankison—for Taylor’s death.

Hankison, who was fired earlier in the summer, will be charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly firing bullets that risked injury to persons in adjacent apartments, according to Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse, was killed when the Louisville police officers burst into her apartment on March 13 while she slept and shot her five times. Police say the officers were executing a "no-knock warrant" when they used a battering ram to break into Taylor's home after midnight.

Earlier this year, Scott wrote the legislation seeking to end no-knock warrants across the state and increase police accountability. The bill is titled “Breonna’s Law.”

Kentucky Democratic State Representative Attica Scott
Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott. Bryan Woolston/AP/Shutterstock

Fellow Democratic representatives quickly denounced the local police’s decision to arrest Scott on Thursday night.

“The words escape me right now,” tweeted state Rep. Charles Booker. “This is happening in Louisville as we speak. My Shero, riding partner, and colleague in the State House, the sponsor of Breonna’s Law, was one of the people arrested.”

Booker, 36, added that Scott’s arrest was “absolutely and deeply unbelievable.”

State Rep. Josie Raymond juxtaposed Scott’s detainment and the arrests of the three officers involved in Taylor’s killing.

“Two people charged with class D felonies this week: Brett Hankison and Rep. Attica Scott,” the lawmaker wrote Thursday night. “One fired his gun into Breonna Taylor's home. One protested her killing. One was out in 30 minutes. One will be kept at least overnight.”

When Scott was released on Friday morning, she told the Courier-Journal she planned to go back out and rejoin the ongoing protests later in the day.

"We will be back out here later on today," Scott said. "You can't stop the revolution, you can't stop the movement for justice for Breonna Taylor."

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