Candlelight vigil held in Phoenix for Breonna Taylor, Dion Johnson
PHOENIX – People gathered in downtown Phoenix Thursday night to honor the lives of Breonna Taylor and Dion Johnson.
The organization, which was put on by the W.E. Rising Project, started at 8 p.m. at Phoenix City Hall.
The demonstration was organized to hold a candlelight vigil for Taylor, who was killed by Louisville police officers, and Johnson, who was killed by an Arizona state trooper in May.
Some are offering each other candles or lighters. One woman I spoke to emphasized tonight as celebration of lives lost to police violence. pic.twitter.com/BOx5qdIsgm
— Taylor Kinnerup (@TaylorKinnerup) September 25, 2020
Around forty people initially gathered for the event but the crowd grew to more than 100 people.
Organizers of the event planned to open the floor so those who gathered could speak freely and express their emotions.
After the vigil concluded, around 80 people took to the streets to march in downtown Phoenix. Phoenix Police told protesters that they would be subject to arrest if they did not get out of the street.
The organizers of the vigil did not organize the march that followed.
The demonstration comes after it was revealed this week that prosecutors in Maricopa County would not be charging the Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper who shot and killed Johnson on Loop 101 in Phoenix on Memorial Day, citing self-defense.
Protests started Wednesday in Louisville where two police officers were shot were limited charges were filed in the shooting of Taylor.
A single officer was charged with wanton endangerment for firing into neighboring apartments.
Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers after Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them, authorities said. He said he didn’t know who was coming in and opened fire in self-defense. Police entered on a warrant connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup and the Associated Press contributed to this report.