But the Kentucky Derby in Louisville could face disruption from protesters seeking to keep the public’s attention on the Breonna Taylor shooting case, according to reports.
“No justice, no Derby!” some crowd members shouted Friday evening outside the downtown Louisville office of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Courier Journal of Louisville reported.
A group called Until Freedom called for Saturday’s race to be canceled, Louisville FOX station WDRB-TV reported.
Running the race “so that horses can run for the entertainment of the rich and famous,” represented “serious hypocrisy,” Tamika Mallory, a co-founder of the group, told the station.
“Meanwhile, the body and blood of Breonna Taylor is on your hands,” she added.
Taylor, 26, was fatally shot March 13 when police conducted a “no knock” drug raid at her apartment. She was unarmed, and her supporters have been arguing for months that the police officers involved in the case should be criminally charged in her death.
One detective has since been fired in connection with the shooting, which remains under investigation.
On Saturday, marches and rallies in support of Taylor’s family are scheduled for downtown Louisville and for outside Churchill Downs, the racetrack that is home to the legendary horse race that is one of the sport’s three annual Triple Crown events.
On Friday, crowds gathered in downtown Louisville for what the Courier Journal reported was the 100th day of protests over the Taylor shooting.
Demonstrators pointed at Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Kentucky state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, alleging that they have not done enough to resolve the Taylor case more quickly. Fischer, 62, is a Democrat, while Cameron, 34, is a Republican.
“The mayor is not stepping up and doing his job. Daniel Cameron is not stepping up and doing his job,” Anna Harrison, a woman who regularly supplies food to protesters, told the Courier Journal.
Nevertheless, she said, “People keep marching. They’re not giving up, they’re not backing down. They’re on a mission. And their mission is not gonna be completed until they get the justice that Breonna deserves.”
On Tuesday, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, filed a lawsuit against the city of Louisville and its police department.
Taylor, a legal gun owner, had fired at officers when they executed the no-knock warrant at Taylor’s home, telling authorities later that he assumed the officers were invaders trying to conduct a robbery.
An attempted murder charge against Taylor was later dropped. But he alleges in his lawsuit that the charge was “meant to silence me and cover up Breonna’s murder.”
Taylor firing his weapon was the action that prompted police to fire the shots that killed Taylor, authorities have said.
Supporters of Taylor note, however, that one officer, Detective Brett Hankison, was fired in June for “blindly” firing 10 shots during the raid. Neither Hankison nor two other officers who allegedly fired shots – Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove – has faced charges in the case.
Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be run without spectators because of the coronavirus, after officials previously announced that a limited number of fans would be admitted. Saturday’s event will be the 146th running of the race.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this story.