The Louisville Metro Police Department announced Sunday that it will shrink in protest caravans as demonstrations have continued in the city over the past few months following police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and other Black Americans.
In a series of tweets Sunday afternoon, the department said it had decided that “protest caravans could not continue as they have been,” citing what was referred to as “increased aggressive behavior over the past week” and concerns. security.
“The LMPD continues to balance the right of the first amendment to protest with the public safety needs of the entire community. For nearly 75 days, Louisville residents have taken to the streets to express their desire for responsibility and change, “the office said.
“One of the main ways to do that has been to hold night caravans ̵1; both cars and foot marches – throughout the city. “We have seen increasingly insecure behavior, including an escalation of aggressive behavior over the past week or so,” she continued.
As a result, starting Sunday night, the department said all “pedestrians should stay off the road – staying on the sidewalks and following all pedestrian traffic laws” moving forward, adding: “Cars and pedestrians do not will be allowed to block intersections for any length of time. “
The department said all “pedestrians should stay off the road” moving forward and that “cars and pedestrians will not be allowed to block intersections for any length of time.”
“Participants who refuse to enforce any law or lawful order will have the right to citation and / or arrest,” the agency added.
According to The Courier-Journal, the night before the department’s announcement, a dozen people were arrested and charged after police claimed protesters blocked roads during a march and vandalized property.
An office spokesman told the newspaper that “protesters, during their march, blocked roads, surrounded vehicles trying to avoid the protest, shot arrows (at) passing drivers, destroyed properties on Route 4 Live Network while it was busy with patrons, put trash cans on the fire, and then proceeded to Jefferson Square. “
“Based on these actions, the assembly was deemed illegal,” he added.
The office claimed Sunday that the caravans continued to “pose serious security risks to protesters and the public”. The agency’s conduct said it “regularly” looks at caravans include “reckless driving endangering the lives of others”, “confrontations with other drivers meeting the caravan”, “blocking intersections for periods of time” and “dangerous mixing of cars” with pedestrians taking part in the caravans. “
The city has reportedly seen more than two-and-a-half months of ongoing protests following the killing of Taylor police, a 26-year-old unarmed EMT, who was shot dead at her apartment in Louisville police earlier this year. .
The months-long protest began in late May, just days after the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the age of 46 in Minneapolis after an officer was seen in viral footage kneeling on his neck for more than 8 minutes during an arrest.
The report comes as widespread protests against racism and police brutality have continued across the country following Floyd’s death and police killings of other black Americans.