Shelby County sheriff calls use of stun shields a 'regrettable mistake’ as protests continue for third night

Shelby County sheriff calls use of stun shields a 'regrettable mistake’ as protests continue

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Friday, Memphians protested for the third straight night over the decision of grand jury in Kentucky to not charge any Louisville police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is responding to criticism about their response to protests earlier in the week.

The group of protesters was led by local activist DeVante Hill and Friday was the third straight night of protests in Memphis following the decision by a grand jury to indict only one officer on three counts of first degree wanton endangerment following the death of Breonna Taylor.

None of the officers were charged specifically with Taylor’s death which occurred when officers opened fire while issuing a search warrant on March 13, looking for Taylor’s ex-boyfriend who was not there at the time.

Peaceful protest planned in response to Breonna Taylor decision

Hill says it doesn’t matter how large the protest is -- it’s important to keep attention on the message.

“I think that work has got to be done and we’ve got to stay committed and stay focused to the work. We can’t be excited about likes on social media, we can’t be excited about whether 20 people or 200 people show up, we can’t be excited about there’s one protester against this protester, we can’t be excited about that. We can’t be distracted. That’s going to take away from what the goal really is, and the goal really is real systemic change," said Deante Hill, community activist.

Thursday, around 40 protesters gathered outside the Shelby County Jail on Poplar Avenue.

Inside the doors of the jail, deputies displayed two non-lethal electric pulse riot shields to keep protesters out of the jail -- a move that’s been criticized by some.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner says that was a regrettable mistake, and he has changed department policies to prohibit those shields from being displayed outside the jail again.

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