KEY POINTS

  • Louisville police Interim Chief Rob Schroeder cancelled all off days for police to ensure the department is fully staffed
  • Several federal buildings are making preparations, including boarding up windows and doors or simply closing outright
  • Many activists in Louisville said the state of emergency may be an indiciation of the grand jury's decision in Breonna Taylor's case

Louisville, Kentucky, is in a state of emergency Tuesday anticipating news whether the three police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor will be charged.

Officers were informed about the state of emergency in a memo sent out Monday by Louisville Metro Police Department Interim Chief Rob Schroeder. The memo, obtained by Louisville NBC-affiliate WAVE, said the department would be operating under emergency guidelines as many officials previously said they expect a decision in the case “soon.”

“In anticipation of Attorney General Daniel Cameron's announcement in the Breonna Taylor case, I am declaring a state of emergency for the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD),” the memo said. “To ensure we have the appropriate level of staffing to provide for public safety services and our policing functions, effective immediately the LMPD will operate under the emergency staffing and reporting guidelines as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, Emergency Response Plan and collective bargaining agreements until further notice.”

“Effective immediately, all off-days are hereby canceled and vacation requests that have not already been submitted and approved are canceled until further notice.”

Several federal buildings across the city were also taking precautions ahead of an announcement. Crews were seen boarding up windows at the city’s U.S. courthouse while others, like the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Louisville field office, were closed outright.

Many Black Lives Matter protesters and organizers in the city said the preparations may be signaling what the grand jury’s ruling in the case could be.

“It’s like when you see these little subliminal things going on, it’s a direct indication to what the decision is going to be,” Black Complex Louisville founder Aaron Jordan told WAVE. “Right now, a lot of us are pissed off. A lot of us are angry. A lot of us are sad, and a lot of people just don’t know what to feel.”

Another local activist, Christopher 2X, previously said Taylor’s family met Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to preview the grand jury hearings in August. Cameron indicated on Sept. 9 the hearings were set to begin, but stopped short of providing a start date.

Many community organizers said that while they understand potential frustrations, they do not want the reaction to manifest into chaotic scenes reminiscent of Portland, Oregon,  or the first days of protesting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“I know that there’s going to be hurt. There’s going to be pain,” Louisville radio personality Chea K Woolfolk said. “There’s going to be people who are going to be angry. I’m going to be angry if that happens. I hope that it manifests in a voice being heard and a community being heard but with everyone making it home safely at night.”