Hamdia Ahmed, who organized protests in Portland this summer, leads protesters in a chant while blocking the intersection of Franklin and Middle streets before marching toward Monument Square during a Black Lives Matter protest on Wednesday night. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

More than 50 activists from Black Lives Matter Maine gathered in front of the Portland police station Wednesday evening to demonstrate after a grand jury in Kentucky didn’t hand up murder indictments against any of the three Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.

The Maine group announced on Facebook Wednesday that a larger demonstration is planned for Saturday afternoon in Portland.

One of the officers, Brett Hankison, was indicted on wanton endangerment charges for allegedly firing blindly through a door and window of an adjacent apartment where a pregnant woman, man and child lived. They were not seriously injured.

Hankison, who has since been fired, was one of three officers who entered Taylor’s apartment while executing a late-night, no-knock warrant related to a narcotics investigation. The Kentucky Attorney General said the other officers were justified in using force because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them first.

About 50 protesters block the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Middle Street, near the Portland police station, right, before marching to Monument Square on Wednesday night. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Taylor, who is Black, was a 26-year-old emergency room technician. She was shot and killed in her apartment on March 13. If convicted of wanton endangerment, Hankison could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

“The reality of being black in America is that our lives are treated with disrespect until the end. We need to do better for our sisters and brothers,” Black Lives Matter Maine said in a post Wednesday on its Facebook page. “Come together to celebrate Breonna, show up against police brutality, and demand our city officials be held accountable to change. We stand in solidarity with Kentucky, and protest the police brutality inflicted upon us every day. This is why we are getting out into the streets again.”

After gathering in front of the Portland police station at 6 p.m., the protesters moved to the intersection of Franklin and Middle streets where they sat down on the pavement. Portland police closed streets leading to the intersection.

Lt. Robert Martin, spokesman for the Portland Police Department, said the department had no plans to forcibly remove the protesters from the intersection. Martin described the assembly early in the evening as “peaceful so far.”

Breigh Connelly of Biddeford talks to a crowd of about 50 protesters blocking the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Middle Street, near the Portland police station, right, before marching to Monument Square on Wednesday night. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Protesters then stood up and chanted “Breonna Taylor, no justice, no peace,” before marching toward Monument Square.

Wednesday’s protest ended around 9 p.m. Portland police announced the protest was over in a tweet that said, “The protest is over. The streets are open to traffic. Thank you.” Police reported no arrests during the protest.

But Black Lives Matter Maine announced Wednesday that it is planning to hold a larger demonstration Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. in front of Portland City Hall. Organizers urged people concerned about racial inequality and police brutality to attend.

Protesters march on Franklin Avenue toward Monument Square in response to Wednesday’s grand jury decision in the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

“We love you Breonna. We will do better for you, and every other victim of police brutality. See you in the streets this Saturday. We need everyone to use their voice against this systemic injustice,” Black Lives Matter Maine posted on Facebook.

Black Lives Matter Maine scheduled a protest earlier this month in downtown Portland, but canceled the event after it allegedly received threats of violence from counter-protestors. Police and city officials asked people to remain peaceful and to leave their weapons at home.

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