The protest supporting Breonna Taylor in downtown San Diego. Photo by Enrique Morones

San Diego Police on Thursday revised upward the count of people arrested near police headquarters overnight during a protest calling for justice in the Breonna Taylor case.

The demonstration, which involved hundreds of people in two separate groups, began about 7 p.m. Wednesday near a corner of Eighth and B streets, then migrated to the east and south.

Around 10 p.m., the San Diego Police Department declared the gathering an unlawful assembly because of “acts of violence and vandalism … in front of (SDPD) headquarters” in the 1400 block of Broadway.

“Demonstrators are ordered to immediately disperse,”  the agency stated in an online message. “If you do not do so, you may be arrested. There are several routes allowing free movement out of the area.”

By the time the protest ended, officers had taken seven people into custody for allegedly refusing orders to disperse, one on suspicion of reckless driving and one for purportedly robbing a pedestrian of a cellphone. A 10th arrestee is accused of trying to steal U.S. and California flags from a pole in front of the police station, which would constitute petty theft, Sgt. Matt Botkin said.

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical worker, was fatally shot by Louisville police officers during a botched drug raid on her home in March. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.

A grand jury in Louisville on Wednesday decided that no officers will face charges for Taylor’s death.

Prosecutors argued the two officers who fired at Taylor were justified in using force to protect themselves after they were shot at by Taylor’s boyfriend.

The officer who fired the fatal shot and another officer who fired his weapon at Taylor face no charges, but former Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Brett Hankison was indicted with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that went through Taylor’s apartment and into an adjoining unit.

Botkin said he was not aware of any further protests stemming from the case in San Diego.

— City News Service

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