Ky. police apologize after officer fires pepper bullets at news crew during protest

Police officials said they are investigating the incident and take disciplinary action


Courier Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A police officer was seen on camera firing what appeared to be pepper bullets at a news crew during a live television broadcast of the second night of Louisville protests, prompting an apology from the Louisville Metro Police Department.

A crew from WAVE-TV was downtown in the Kentucky city Friday night, covering demonstrations over the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed by police in her own home in March. Police presence intensified around 9:45 p.m., as officers in riot gear stood shoulder-to-shoulder moving people down a key street near City Hall, the Courier Journal previously reported.

As WAVE-TV was on air, reporter Kaitlin Rust is heard yelling off-camera: “I've been shot! I've been shot!" Video shows a police officer aiming directly at the camera crew, as Rust describes the projectiles as pepper bullets.

“I want to apologize,” Louisville police spokeswoman Jessie Halladay told the Courier Journal. “It's not something that should have occurred if she was singled out as a reporter.”

Halladay said she couldn't tell who the officer was at this time, but that police would review the video again and “if we need to do any investigation for discipline, we will do that.”

The video shows Rust and the camera crew moving away as indignant in-studio anchors ask if they're OK and what's going on. Rust tells them they're OK, and that the crew was behind the line, but police wanted them to move further away.

“Well I'm sure if they would have just said, ‘Move,’ you would have done so,” an anchor is heard telling Rust.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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