Rep. Attica Scott responds to LMPD tactics used during peaceful march

Those violent protests in Virginia sparked other protests, rallies, and marches around the country, including right here in Louisville. The Mayor is now calling for a review of LMPD policy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) –  Those violent protests in Virginia sparked other protests, rallies, and marches around the country, including in Kentuckiana.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is now calling for a review of LMPD policy after officers were seen armed with sticks at a march in downtown Louisville Sunday afternoon. 

Some are questioning whether it was too much, for what was supposed to be a show of unity.  

Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott along with hundreds marched through downtown Louisville, showing that they stand with those in Charlottesville Virginia who are against racial and social injustice.

"We weren't doing anything to warrant that kind of violent response. As we were moving east so when we were bringing our protest to the east end, that's when things became unacceptable," Representative Scott said.

She covers District 41 which was along the route. Scott says LMPD got it all wrong using some of the special response team tactics including long sticks.

The department says it coordinated with Black Lives Matter-Louisville regarding the route and expected the march to end at 26th Street-but it continued for about 40 blocks.

Police say as the crowd left 32nd Street heading east, some protesters were not walking in the cleared eastbound lanes of traffic but were instead crossing into westbound lanes which raised safety risks for both drivers and protesters. 

The River City Fraternal Order of Police says the officers’ methods are standard and needed for the ever-changing ways of a march like this one, as President Dave Mutchler explained, "There's only so many officers there. That allows them to be a little bit father apart and those sticks help pick up the area between officers as sort of a fence line."

Scott rebutted adding, "You had your cars that were positioned to get us on the sidewalks, you had the officers that were positioned in a way to push us towards the sidewalks and you had your flashing lights, so in no point in time did you need to bring out the sticks."

Mutchler says, "If something horrible like what happened in Charlottesville with that vehicle running into the crowd would've happened, I'm sure people would've wished we had been there." 

LMPD says no one was hurt or arrested at this rally.

IF you have concerns or complains regarding the department's tactics, you're asked to call the Professional Standards Unit at (502) 574-7144.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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