Four Louisville protesters plan hunger strike over Breonna Taylor's death

Four Louisville protesters plan hunger strike over Breonna Taylor's death
© NBC News

Four protesters in Louisville, Ky., started a hunger strike Monday to demand action be taken against three police officers who shot Breonna Taylor in her Louisville home.

The protesters said they will remain on their hunger strike until the three officers who shot Taylor the night she died are fired and stripped of their pensions.

Brett Hankison has already been fired from the department but Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly remain on the force.

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The protesters kicked off the demonstration Monday and will be livestreaming the hunger strike on their Facebook page, Hunger Strikers for Breonna

"We've been prepping for a few days now," Vincent Gonzalez, one of the strikers, said according to the Courier Journal. "The clock is ticking, as they say."

The other three demonstrators are Ari Maybe, Amira Bryant and Tabin Ibershoff. The four of them will not be eating anything but vitamin supplements and can only drink water, green tea and black coffee, according to the Courier Journal. 

"It's four individuals that are abstaining from all caloric intake, but we have an army of other people helping us fundraise, helping on the back end and things like that," Maybe said, according to the newspaper. "I think all together we probably have about 35 people involved right now."

The demonstrators invited others to join them. In a post on the Facebook page the demonstrators urged others to join in “whatever capacity you can,” whether it be fully fasting or abstaining from something else for a decided period of time. The Facebook page also includes a fundraiser, which has raised $942 of its $2,300 goal as of Monday. 

Medical staff and mental health practitioners will be checking in with the protesters. 

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The demonstrators reportedly said the hunger strike is another phase of ongoing protests over Taylor’s death. Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, the site of some demonstrations, has seen an increased police presence lately, according to the Courier Journal, but the hunger strikers said they will be able to demonstrate without having the threat of police interruption while on private property. 

"In this form, we can control it," Maybe said, according to the Courier Journal. "It's not like a sit-in, where we can be arrested. It's not like a protest, where there's a beginning and an end. We control the beginning, the end and the entire narrative."

Taylor was killed on March 13 after three white officers carried out a “no-knock” warrant. The police at the time were investigating two men who they believed were selling drugs. The warrant was for a man who did not live in the building and was already in custody at the time. 

Taylor's boyfriend fired his gun at what he says he believed were intruders and officers returned fire, killing Taylor.

No charges have been filed in the case, but protests have continued in the city.