Sixty-four protesters were arrested Tuesday in a largely peaceful protest near the University of Louisville.
Police formed a line across the overpass near Cardinal Stadium, blocking protesters. Around 4:00 p.m., protest organizers asked anyone who didn’t want to be arrested to leave the overpass. Shortly after, police officers began arresting protesters, but the demonstration remained peaceful. By 5:00 p.m., all of the protesters who remained on the overpass had been arrested.
In an update at 5:15 p.m., LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said the protesters had been charged with obstructing the roadway and disorderly conduct. He said police had blocked the protesters’ path on Central Avenue because they determined it would be too dangerous if the group made it to Crittenden Drive.
Other protesters headed north, and said they would reconvene in Jefferson Square Park downtown. The park, called “Breonna Square” as well as “Injustice Square Park” by protesters, has been the center of demonstrations in Louisville since May 28.
Previously, the group gathered outside of Churchill Downs saying they would sit outside the racetrack until they were arrested.
Protesters in Louisville say they will sit here outside Churchill Downs until they are arrested. They say they are seeking justice for Breonna Taylor and accountability in the criminal justice system. pic.twitter.com/cF5Qo4YFgg
— Ryan Van Velzer (@RyanVanVelzer) August 25, 2020
According to reporters on the scene, there was a heavy police presence. Interim police chief Robert Schroeder had already designated Tuesday an “All Work-Day,” due to the planned protest.
The demonstration was organized by Until Freedom, a group founded by national civil rights activists. Many of the group’s members have moved to Louisville indefinitely, as they join the city’s ongoing protests demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was killed by Louisville police officers in March as they were serving a search warrant at her apartment.
Group is outside Churchill Downs. pic.twitter.com/JRmBhA3IFB
— Stephanie Wolf (@StephRWolf) August 25, 2020
Tuesday’s demonstration is the culmination of a four-day event called “BreonnaCon,” which included empowerment seminars, discussions of policies, a “Bre-B-Q” and a religious service. The event was deemed “inappropriate” and potentially exploitative of Taylor’s legacy by some local activists.
This post has been updated.