FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has activated the National Guard to respond to planned Saturday protests following violence in Louisville on Friday night.
Officials said 350 guard members are expected to arrive this afternoon to support the effort.
"We're fully prepared to support the LMPD and other state agencies in protecting lives and preserving property," said Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard in a news release. "We will help ensure that our Kentucky citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully and safely."
Protests began this week in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after police were seen kneeling on him and pinning him to the ground, and after Breonna Taylor, a Louisville EMT, was shot and killed by police in her home.
Police killed Taylor, 26, after serving a "no-knock warrant" to the wrong apartment on March 13. Thinking the officers were intruders, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, allegedly shot at police.
"While I can never pretend to understand the depths of those feelings, what I can do is pledge to listen and to do everything I can to help moving forward," Beshear said in an online address Saturday morning.
Beshear read a statement from Taylor's mother at his Friday news conferenece denouncing recent demonstrations that became violent.
"The last thing she'd want to see is more violence," the statement read. "Changes are being made, but it's not enough. We will not stop until there is truth, justice and accountability. Breonna's legacy will not be forgotten, and it's because of all of us saying her name and demanding justice."