A group of protesters in Louisville created a human barricade to protect an officer separated from his unit during a protest over the death of Breonna Taylor.
On Thursday peaceful protests suddenly turned volatile as gunfire rang out and fires set ablaze while as many as 600 civilians flooded the streets.
Clashes between authorities and civilians continued throughout night, but a moment of solidarity between the two was captured in now-viral photos.
An officer in Louisville, Kentucky, (left) was protected by a human shield during protest over the death of Breonna Taylor
In the photos, shared by Louisville-native Nancy Duncan, a white officer in riot gear stands in front of Bearno’s By-the-Bridge restaurant as protesters crowd the nearby street.
A single barricade of mostly African-American men stands in between as the only line of defense to make sure the officer wasn’t harmed.
The photos appear to show just one man protecting the officer at first before at least five others join in. Each man linked their arms together.
Chris Williams, one of the men in the human shield, said people stepped in once they realized the officer was outnumbered and alone
During the commotion of the protest, the officer (left) reportedly got separated from his unit
The officer was reportedly separated from his unit during the protest commotion, Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
Chris Williams, one of the men in the human barricade, told WHASII that the officer was caught amid a sea of protesters.
‘At first, they were pulling him to response and the officer was outnumbered really bad,’ Chris said.
‘We were like, scoot back bro – and the people were marching with their kind of linked arms all the way around him.’
The officer was alone after reportedly becoming separated from him unit during protests last week
Pictured: A protester hides behind a board after police fired tear gas during a protest over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor on Saturday
The photos have since gone viral on social media, with the set receiving more than 11,000 likes and 3,800 retweets.
‘Last night in Louisville. Protesters protected an officer separated from his squad,’ Duncan wrote on Twitter, in response to MSNBC contributor Joyce Alene.
The protests were first sparked by the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives in March.
Taylor and her boyfriend were in bed when a trio of armed men smashed through the front door of their apartment. Gunfire erupted, killing the unarmed black woman.
Breonna Taylor (pictured), a 26-year-old EMT worker, was killed in her Louisville home after narcotics detectives shot her eight times
Last Thursday, protesters held a demonstration in the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, to fight against police brutality and the death of Breonna Taylor
Pictured: Protesters talk with police officers during a protest over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor during a protest Saturday
Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights lawyer who is representing Taylor’s family, said last week the raiding officers fired between 25-30 rounds into Taylor’s apartment from all angles.
The three men turned out to be plainclothes police detectives, one of whom was wounded in the chaos and violence that March night.
Taylor’s death led to protests and a review of how Louisville police use ‘no knock’ search warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without announcing their presence, often in drug cases to prevent suspects from getting rid of a stash.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer later suspended ‘no knock warrants.’ No arrests have been made in the case yet.
Authorities said narcotics detectives were at Taylor’s home because of an investigation int two men who they believed were selling drugs.
No drugs were found inside the apartment.
Two months later, cell phone footage showed Derek Chauvin, a white officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes.
Floyd, 46, later died after being transported to a hospital from police custody.
Following Floyd’s death, all four officers pictured in cell phone footage of the incident were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department
Pictured: People stand near a burning building during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody
Both deaths have parked protests across the United States with demonstrators fighting against police brutality and systematic racism.
In Louisville, protesters held up their hands while yelling ‘No justice! No peace! Prosecute the police!’
At one point, a group of protesters formed a human wall separating protesters from authorities.
Demonstrators chanted ‘Breonna’ and signs read,’Until all police states burn we fight for black lives.’
At least seven people were injured after shots were fired.
Demonstrations have taken a hold on Minneapolis as residents have protested for six straight days over the death of Floyd.
The National Guard was deployed as businesses were looted, a police precinct torched and clashes between people turned violent.
As some protests grew volatile, several cities imposed nighttime curfews and the National Guard was deployed to especially heated areas.
Several protests have launched across the United States over the death of George Floyd
The most recent wave of protests on Sunday saw at least five people killed during protests in Indianapolis, Chicago, Oakland, Detroit and Oakland.
Buildings were torched, a federal protective officer shot dead and more than 50 secret service agents were injured during clashes with civilians outside the White House.
President Trump urges states ‘get tough’ by calling the National Guard to oversee protests and demands ‘Law and Order!’
He also announced on Twitter that he will designate Antifa, a loose but radical far-left group, as a terrorist organization after blaming them for protest violence.
In New York City, more than 250 people are arrested as six NYPD officers were injured and looters targeted luxury stores in the SoHo district.
Source: dailymail US