WATCH: Louisville Protesters Gather at Unitarian Church to Stay Out Past Curfew

Protesters wait outside the First Unitarian church, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. Authorities pleaded for calm while activists vowed to fight on Thursday in Kentucky's largest city, where a gunman wounded two police officers during anguished protests following the decision not to charge officers for killing Breonna Taylor. …
AP Photo/John Minchillo

A large group in Louisville, Kentucky, reportedly used a church as a “safe space” Thursday night during the ongoing Breonna Taylor protests.

Courier-Journal columnist Maggie Menderski tweeted a photo of the crowd assembled outside the First Unitarian Church:

The curfew officials announced Wednesday did not include churches, according to Menderski.

“By authority of the mayor, a county-wide curfew will go into effect for the next 72-hours between 9 pm and 6:30 am. Please plan ahead,” the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) tweeted Wednesday night.

A few minutes later, the columnist shared video footage of the protesters and said church members had prepared snacks for them inside the building’s garden:

In a subsequent tweet, Menderski said a church member claimed that police outside were “awaiting a decision from legal about whether or not they can storm the property”:

Minutes later, Brendan Gutenschwager tweeted video footage of a man telling reporters that the church opened its doors as a “sanctuary” for the protesters:

“On the emergency orders, houses of worship are exempt from the curfew,” said the man who identified himself as Brother Tim.

“So we’ve opened this up … or the church has opened this up as a sanctuary zone. A place to get refreshments, a place to get legal aid if they need, a place to see medics if they need it. But it’s a safe zone for people,” he explained.

Later, a man who was reportedly outside the church was heard yelling, “All you white motherfuckers leave!”:

At 9:14 p.m., News Director and Director of Investigations for the Courier-Journal Mike Trautmann tweeted that an LMPD spokesperson told him the police “have absolutely no intention of storming the church that is offering sanctuary to protesters.”

“The spokeswoman wanted to assure people that isn’t true,” he stated.

WDRB News reporter Chad K. Mills later tweeted video footage showing officers in a line outside the church and said the clergy allowed protesters to “seek refuge” on the grounds to avoid being arrested for breaking the curfew:

Nearly one hour later, Gutenschwager tweeted footage of the protesters leaving the church grounds:


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