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Biden urges protests be peaceful after prosecutors clear police of criminal charges in Breonna Taylor death

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to reporters upon his departure after campaigning in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 23, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden urged that protests be peaceful after prosecutors on Wednesday cleared police officers of criminal charges in the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker killed in March in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment.

Two white policemen who fired into the apartment will not be prosecuted for her death because their use of force was justified, while a third was charged with endangering her neighbors, Kentucky’s attorney general said.

Biden told reporters in Charlotte, North Carolina, he would review the grand jury decision before commenting further.

“My heart goes out to her mother... they (protests) should be peaceful. Do not sully her memory or her mother’s by engaging in any violence. It would be totally inappropriate for that to happen. She wouldn’t want it nor would her mother ... I don’t know the details so I’m reluctant to comment,” Biden said.

In Louisville, hundreds of protesters wound their way out of downtown’s Jefferson Square Park and marched through the streets chanting, “Out of the homes, into the streets!” Local television news footage showed police in riot gear and face shields forming into lines.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Howard Goller