Charges against Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills and dozens of other protesters were dropped Friday after they were arrested at a protest in Louisville earlier this week.
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell announced in a statement that he is dropping the felony charge of "intimidating a participant in the legal process" against the 87 protestors arrested. He said Louisville police had "probable cause" for the charge, but "in the interest of justice and the promotion of the free exchange of ideas, we will dismiss that charge" for each of the protesters.
Stills was among the group demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13 while she was asleep in her home. Three officers entered Taylor's residence in plainclothes with a no-knock search warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there and no drugs were found. Two of the officers involved in Taylor's killing, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, still remain on the LMPD force. The other officer, Brett Hankison, has been fired.
Protesters marched to the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Tuesday and called for action against the officers. According to the Associated Press, Louisville police said some of the protesters threatened to burn down the house if they didn't get justice, prompting the felony charge of "intimidating a participant in a legal process." Cameron told the AP that he agreed with O'Connell's decision to drop the felony charge.
Stills was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with intimidating a participant in the legal process, misdemeanor disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. On Wednesday, he tweeted about the incident, saying, "'Good trouble' with my brothers and sisters-by @untilfreedom. Arrested for peacefully protesting. While Breonna Taylor's murderers are still out on the street."
The 28-year-old has spent seven years in the NFL and played 13 games last season with the Texans. Stills has been very vocal about social issues in the past and spoken out against police brutality and racial injustice.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.