Mr. Cameron, a Republican attorney general who ran on a law-and-order platform, had to navigate both the demands of protesters and the constraints of the law, said Frank Mascagni III, a former assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Louisville.

“My city is going to blow up if these three men are not charged,” said Mr. Mascagni, who believes that the officers’ actions are protected under the law. “I’m very nervous for what I think is going to occur.”

Who are the four officers involved in the Taylor case?

Sgt. Jon Mattingly, 47, a 20-year veteran of the Louisville Metro Police Department, had spent the last four years in the narcotics division.

After officers knocked down the door to Ms. Taylor’s apartment, Sergeant Mattingly was the first officer to step inside. According to a statement he gave to investigators, he said that he saw a male and a female figure standing at the end of a hallway.

The male figure, who was Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was standing with his hands stretched out, holding a gun, Sergeant Mattingly said. “My mind’s going, this ain’t right.”

When Mr. Walker fired, Sergeant Mattingly said, he felt a sensation of heat in his leg, and then returned fire six times, stumbling over and falling. He had been hit in the femoral artery, with the bullet tearing through his thigh and exiting out the back, according to his statement.

Detective Myles Cosgrove, 42, has been with the Police Department for more than 15 years, including the last three in the narcotics division.

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