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Two police shot amid protests in Kentucky

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Two police officers have been shot during US protests in Kentucky over the decision not to charge Louisville police officers with the killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot and killed during a raid on her apartment.

Hours after a grand jury brought no charges against police, protesters took to the streets.

Two officers were shot and wounded during the demonstrations expressing anger over the killings of black people at the hands of police.

Interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder on Wednesday (local time) said a suspect was in custody but did not offer details about whether that person was participating in the demonstrations.

Both officers are expected to recover, and one is undergoing surgery.

They were shot after investigating reports of gunfire at an intersection where there was a large crowd.

Several shots rang out as protesters in downtown Louisville tried to avoid police blockades, moving down an alleyway as officers lobbed pepper balls, according to an Associated Press journalist.

The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, an African American woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend.

The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Ms Taylor’s with people inside.

The charges against the former detective were immediately criticised as insufficient by demonstrators and activists.

The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in connection with the raid at Ms Taylor’s home on March 13.

Ben Crump, a lawyer for Ms Taylor’s family, denounced the decision as “outrageous and offensive,” and protesters shouting, “No justice, no peace!” immediately marched through the streets.

Scuffles broke out between police and protesters, and some were arrested. Officers fired flash bangs and a few small fires burned in a square that’s been at the centre of protests, but it had largely cleared out ahead of a night-time curfew as demonstrators marched through other parts of downtown Louisville. Dozens of patrol cars blocked the city’s major thoroughfare.

Demonstrators also marched in cities like New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Ms Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers who entered her home on a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation.

State Attorney-General Daniel Cameron, however, said the investigation showed the officers announced themselves before entering. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

Along with the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ms Taylor’s case became a major touchstone for nationwide protests that have drawn attention to entrenched racism and demanded police reform.

-with agencies