Former UofL player's Fourth Street Live! arrest prompts racial allegations


Posted on May 1, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 1 at 10:54 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky -- Former UofL basketball star Jason Osborne, and his girlfriend who is a business executive for Humana Vitality, were arrested over the weekend, and now they're claiming race sparked those arrests.

They’re accused of causing major problems with police and bothering customers at Sully’s Restaurant which is located in Fourth Street Live!

But several African American state representatives and Metro Council members say it’s a possible issue of ongoing racial discrimination.

"Mr. Osborne you're directed to have no contact with Fourth Street Live! You understand that?" asked the judge in court. "Yes your honor," replied Osborne.

Osborne and his girlfriend, Jacquelynn Russell, were arrested at Fourth Street Live! and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Police say the couple refused to leave Sully's Restaurant and claim the girlfriend yelled and hit an officer.

But Derwin Webb say his clients never touched police and Osborne was forced to the ground. He's depending on surveillance video.

"I believe that provided a tape has not be destroyed at this point, the tape should prove my client is innocent of all the charges," said Webb.

Webb, also a former UofL basketball player, was backed by Metro Council members and state representatives.

"There are stories that all of us have heard of individuals being harassed and disrespected at Fourth Street Live," said 42nd District State Representative, Reginald Meeks.

"To be honest on a personal level I'm having difficulty understanding why an African American would go to Fourth Street Live at 6:00 in the evening. They can just about assure themselves that they'll be disrespected and arrested," said 43rd District State Representative, Darryl Owens.

Councilman David Tandy presides over Fourth Street Live! and Osborne lives in his district.    

David Tandy, 4th District Metro Council: "There are run-ins with management of the various establishments and patrons who happen to be people of color and those incidents continuing to take place."

Jim Layson, General Manager of Fourth Street Live!, released this statement saying: "The incident occurred outside of Fourth Street Live! and was between an individual and members of the police. No Fourth Street Live! employee or third party contractor was involved in the incident or the individual's arrest.  Inquiries concerning this matter should be directed to the police."

Louisville Metro Police said: "An arrest was made and we will have to see how it plays out in court."

Metro Councilman Tandy said they will continue to talk with the Cordish Group which owns Fourth Street Live! to make sure everyone receives equal treatment, regardless of race.

In years past, there were ongoing issues with racial groups complaining that they were being targeted due to their choice of clothing.
The Cordish Group has since changed their dress code which banned baggy pants, bandanas and over-sized shirts.

Osborne and his girlfriend are due in court on May 24.