Hours after Occupy ICE protesters built a new camp, an order by Louisville Metro Police prompted them to tear it down Thursday.
The new camp was in front of the Romano L. Mazzoli Federal Building; the group was created weeks ago to oppose federal immigration policies, such as the separation of migrant families. LMPD officers said Occupy ICE was not complying with laws about camping on public property, which says people can’t store tents, temporary shelters or other camping equipment on property owned by or leased from Metro Government.
Maureen Sullivan, a legal advisor for members of Occupy ICE, said the group chose to leave the camp to avoid potential legal action. But she said protesters were not given a legal citation before being told to comply, and were supposed to be fined up to $200 a violation instead of being forced out.
“This is a matter of law — of whether this is even lawful to break the camp,” Sullivan said.
In a press conference, LMPD Major Eric Johnson said police would have made Occupy ICE take their camping structures down if they did not comply.
This is the second camp deemed unlawful by the city. The first camp was disassembled after LMPD said it did not comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Nine Occupy ICE members were arrested earlier Thursday for blocking elevators to immigration courts in the Heyburn Building on East Broadway. LMPD said those nine protesters face state charges for trespassing and federal charges for blocking access to a public office.
This story will be updated.