PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Dozens of protesters marched up the on-ramp near the Providence Place mall Wednesday night in an attempt to block traffic to express their frustrations with a Kentucky grand jury’s decision not to charge three Louisville police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.
The group of protesters began walking up the on-ramp around 9 p.m. and nearly made it onto the highway before Rhode Island State Police vehicles began blocking their path.
“Get off the highway,” one trooper could be heard shouting into a megaphone.
In response, protesters began chanting “Breonna Taylor” while trying to cross the northbound side of the highway to block oncoming traffic.
After warning them several times to get off the highway, troopers began spraying protesters with what appeared to be pepper spray in an effort to disperse the crowd.
Several protesters were seen scaling the fence along the on-ramp to get off the side of I-95 near the Providence Place mall parking garage.
The protesters reconvened across the street from the on-ramp, which was blocked by a row of troopers. They then began to stand and sit in the roadway near the on-ramp as troopers directed traffic away from the area.
The group originally gathered at Burnside Park earlier in the evening for a brief demonstration before marching toward I-95.
Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by three officers who entered her home on a no-knock warrant, which was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.
Members of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island also held their own demonstration outside the Providence Public Safety Complex.
Black Lives Matter Rhode Island President Brother Gary Dantzler told 12 News he, like many others, is overwhelmed by the decision.
“The justice system let us down again,” he said. “I’m frustrated … I’m filled with rage, I’m angry, I’m mad.”
The protesters ultimately dispersed around 10:30 p.m. and police told 12 News no arrests were made.