Two Kentucky Activists Have Been Killed in the Span of a Month

Torry Threadcraft Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and…
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Kris Smith is the second of two Kentucky activists to be shot in Louisville.

On Friday, Kris Smith, a 42-year old activist and business owner, was fatally shot while sitting in a car in his native Louisville. His death is the second among Kentucky activists protesting the death of Breonna Taylor over the summer. Back in November, 21-year old Hamza Nagdy, who led protests in October, was also shot in a car just six miles away.

“We’re mourning one, then we lose another,” said local pastor Stachelle Bussey. “With [Hamza], I lost a brother. Today we lost another one.”

Smith spoke with the Louisville Courier-Journal about Nagdy’s death in November. A prominent presence at protests, Smith’s live-streams from the night local barbecue stand owner David McAtee was killed was used by outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post.

“He’s gonna be missed over here,” Smith said, “because he was really one of the good ones.”

This year, Louisville’s 150 homicides have outpaced the city’s previous record of 117 back in 2016. Police have not identified suspects in either case, and believe the two shootings are unrelated.

Nagdy and Smith both had served time in prison, and Nagdy spoke about the movement for Breonna Taylor changing his life.

“I’m an ex-foster kid, I’m a felon and I don’t have my GED,” he said shortly before his death. “I spent three or four years, not consecutively, incarcerated. And next week I’m flying to New York with Until Freedom. I’m having lunch with a state representative. I got people asking me to lead marches.”

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