A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department made a public apology late Friday evening after reviewing a viral video that appears to show a police officer firing pepper balls at Wave-3 journalist Kaitlin Rust, who was covering the local protest live on-air.
“I want to apologize,” spokesperson Jessie Halladay told the Courier-Journal. “It’s not something that should have occurred if she was singled out as a reporter, and that is what the video looks like occurred. It’s a little difficult to determine, in the midst of all of this, who that officer is.”
“We will be taking a look at the video again after this situation is resolved, and if we need to do any investigation for discipline, we will do that,” said Halladay.
In the viral video, Rust can be seen covering the protest, while she’s followed by her cameraman, when a police officer appears to step in her general direction and fire the first pepper ball.
RUST: Right now we’re behind the line.
ANCHOR ONE: Okay, well you keep going. Go where you gotta go. That’s fine with us, we’ve got plenty of time here.
ANCHOR TWO: Are you okay?
RUST: I’m getting shot! I’m getting —
ANCHOR TWO: Katie, are you okay?
RUST: Rubber bullets! Rubber bullets! It’s okay! It’s those pepper bullets, it’s those pepper bullets.
ANCHOR TWO: Who are they aiming that at?
RUST: Like at us. Directly at us!
Within seconds of Rust proclaiming that the officer is shooting pepper balls at the news crew, the officer fires another one toward the camera, blurring the screen. As of Saturday afternoon, the video has over 17 million views on Twitter.
This just happened on live tv. Wow, what a douche bag. pic.twitter.com/dQKheEcCvb
— Christopher Bishop (@ChrisBishopL1C4) May 30,
As The Daily Wire previously reported, protests erupted in Louisville this week in response to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an emergency technician who was shot and killed in March after Narcotics Detectives broke down her door while carrying out a search warrant. The protests overlap with national outrage, demonstrations, and riots over the death of George Floyd earlier this week.
The Associated Press reports that Taylor’s boyfriend fired a single shot into the ground as a warning to potential intruders, and Taylor was shot eight times in response. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Taylor’s boyfriend told 9-1-1 dispatchers in a frantic call after the incident, reports the news agency. No drugs were recovered from the scene, and murder charges brought against Taylor’s boyfriend for shooting an officer during the situation have since been dropped.
Greg Fischer, the Mayor of Louisville, has since instituted a curfew in the city as “peaceful protests” have turned “into violence and terrorism and looting,” reports the Courier-Journal. About 350 members of the Kentucky National Guard have been called in and will reportedly help maintain the peace on Saturday evening.
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