Footage showed a Louisville restaurant customer pointing a handgun at armed Black Lives Matter protesters invading the outdoor patio during protests in honor of Breonna Taylor on Kentucky Derby Day.
Louisville subway police responded to La Chasse, an upscale European restaurant in the 1300 block of Bardstown Road on Saturday night, as protesters marched north down the street. A restaurant employee told dispatchers “Several armed protesters entered the restaurant property, which included an outdoor dining area,” police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told Fox News.
A Louisville Courier-Journal reporter tweeted several photos and videos of the incident. A man was seen pointing his pistol at several protesters during an altercation. Several protesters also appeared to be carrying guns. A video shared by the newspaper showed a protester asking others to move away from the block, and tensions at the restaurant appeared to be easing.
“During the meeting, the bosses and the protesters brandished guns,” Smiley said in an email to Fox News. “This incident occurred after arrests of southbound protesters in the 1500 block area of Bardstown Road. The arrests of this group were made after protesters repeatedly blocked the roadway despite the multiple verbal requests from officers to use the sidewalk. “
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Protesters marched past Churchill Downs ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby in Louisville on Saturday.
People carried signs with messages that included “We haven’t forgotten Breonna”, “No justice, no peace” and “No justice, no derby”. Black Lives Matter Louisville, Black Market KY, Color of Change and UltraViolet ordered an airplane banner that flew over Churchill Downs with the message “Protect Black Women.” Uninstall yourself from the police ”. Louisville Mail Journal reported.
Louisville Metro Police Department shared a livestream on Facebook for their protest reaction. The video showed protesters surrounding and shouting profanity at police officers who were making an arrest. At least one individual has been seen holding up a Black Lives Matter banner. A female voice recounting the video said police were surrounded when a woman was arrested who refused to get up and walk alone.
At least five arrests linked to the protests were made on Saturday.
Records shared with Fox News said those arrested ignored several announcements to disperse from the pavement and stay on the sidewalk. Police said activity on the streets alarmed several businesses.
A woman gave officers a short foot chase into the block after fleeing from officers who tried to detain her. A man has been charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and gratuitous first degree endangerment of an officer. He was arrested after a police officer allegedly spotted open alcohol containers and a loaded handgun in the front seat of his vehicle.
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Saturday’s incident came weeks after United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department would conduct an investigation into the Louisville-Jefferson County Metropolitan Government and the Louisville Police Department over a year after Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by a city police officer. conducting a search warrant in his apartment.
The investigation is taking place as Louisville has seen a wave of violent crime. According to police statistics, murders, rapes and thefts increased by more than 81% from the five-year averages in January and February. This follows a 2020 where police retirements and resignations peaked five years after Taylor’s death. About 15% of the police left during this period.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.