UPDATES: LMPD Officer Shot In Downtown Louisville
8:37 p.m.: LMPD spokesperson Jessie Halladay confirmed a police officer was shot downtown and is en route to an area hospital. She declined to provide further details and said the department would issue a statement.
8 p.m. - Twenty-nine protesters have been arrested as of an hour before curfew, LMPD said in a press release.
A spokesperson for the agency said 13 of those arrests were a result of protesters causing damage to local businesses. They provided a video that shows a few marchers flipping over tables and umbrellas outside Joy Luck, an Asian fusion restaurant on Bardstown Road.
An additional 16 arrests were made downtown; the cause of those arrests was not mentioned in the press release, and LMPD said charges were not immediately available.
ACLU Asks City To End Downtown Restrictions
7:15 p.m.: - The ACLU of Kentucky has asked city officials and the Jefferson County Attorney's to put a stop to LMPD's use of checkpoints downtown.
In a letter sent today by legal director Corey Shapiro, the civil rights advocacy group said they applaud LMPD's efforts to secure First Amendment rights for protesters. But they fear "that this same infrastructure used to secure protester safety could also be employed to facilitate the mass arrest of peaceful demonstrators."
Shapiro noted that LMPD blocked streets and prevented peaceful protesters from leaving before making mass arrests before curfew in the recent past.
"You can, therefore, understand our concern that LMPD may intend to use the concrete street barriers and regulated access points into downtown as a means of controlling all ingress and egress from the area—and to trap and arrest protesters as they try to escape police violence or return to their homes and vehicles," Shapiro said.
Police have closed downtown vehicle traffic to only a few entry and exit points, and are allowing vehicles in only for work or residence. A WFPL reporter was stopped, asked for ID and threatened with impound earlier this evening.
I just went to drop off my colleagues who have been covering the march in the highlands. As I entered 4th St. in downtown Louisville, police asked for ID then threatened to impound my car if I came back with other reporters. @lmpd why are you threatening me for doing my job?— Ryan Van Velzer (@RyanVanVelzer) September 23, 2020
Unlawful Assembly Declared At Downtown Protests
5:30 p.m.: - LMPD has declared an unlawful assembly at Sixth and Market streets, where hundreds of protesters have gathered.
A conflict there grew contentious after protesters moved a barricade at Sixth and Market streets, and police arrived and made a riot line. Someone threw a glass bottle at the police that broke near their feet. Police fell back after protesters and an officer spoke, and de-escalated the situation, before the unlawful assembly was declared. WFPL's Jacob Ryan and John Boyle are reporting from the scene.
Boyle's video shows officers hitting at least one protester with a baton.
In Ryan's video, he asks police officers why the protest is unlawful, but the officers don't answer.
4:30 p.m. - While police were arresting protesters in the Highlands, State Rep. Charles Booker applauded the 100-plus days of marches leading up to this day that "justice failed us."
Booker, a Black man who represents Louisville’s predominately Black west end, spoke during Gov. Andy Beshear's press briefing.
“[Justice] failed us in ways that it has been failing us for generations," he said.
He offered his thoughts to Taylor’s family, saying that they have grieved publicly and this was an experience all too common for families in the community he serves. He said he had joined the state legislature to try to fight for issues exactly like this one.
“Justice is not just what happens to these officers,” he said. “It was never just about what happens to these officers.”
He applauded the protesters who had been marching for well over 100 days “even in the face of being ignored, hit with tear gas, pepper bullets [and] demonized.”
Shortly before he spoke, LMPD had declared an unlawful assembly, fired pepper balls and begun making arrests in the Highlands.
4:00 p.m. - Louisville police declared an unlawful assembly on Bardstown Road around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, warning a large crowd of protesters that if they didn't disperse, police would use chemical agents and arrest them.
The protesters started downtown and began marching shortly after a judge announced the indictment. They traveled through the Highlands and Shelby Park with a small cadre of officers trailing, but they encountered a riot line on Bardstown Road.
Earlier Wednesday, a grand jury announced itwas indicting former LMPD officer Brett Hankison on three charges of wanton endangerment. Hankison was one of three officers who fired his weapon on March 13 during a raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment. His charges stem from the fact that the shots he fired went into another apartment; the other two officers, who shot and killed Taylor after her boyfriend fired a shot at them, were not indicted.
This story will be updated.