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Dirt Bowl co-founder, Louisville civil rights group respond after police arrested man at Shawnee Park

Dirt Bowl Co-Founder Cornell Bradley said he feels the police did what they needed to and said their presence is vital for the tournament.
Credit: Ian Hardwitt/WHAS-TV

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville Metro Police Department arrested a man after the Dirt Bowl in Shawnee Park Sunday evening, and members in the community expressed different concerns about the situation.

Cornell Bradley, the voice of the Dirt Bowl, said he doesn't fault police in this encounter, however, activists in the Louisville area feel there is more to the story than what's shown in that partially released body camera footage.

"I saw him when he was running, but no, after that, when he got over that hill, that was it, that was all we could see," Bradley said.

Bradley said the entire situation saddens him but that he can't place any blame.

"For those who think that the police were wrong, they were not wrong. They are here to protect us and that's what they did," Bradley said.

The footage was not available at the time of the interview, but Bradley said it seemed as though someone may have been shooting at Lee.

At a news conference held by the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (KAARPR), activist Chris Will said he doesn't see how the officer could have continued on after the shot if Lee did hit him.

"His hands is right here. His hands in the gun or in the front of center mass. It would have blew his hands off," said Will.

Will said he can't trust what LMPD is saying without the whole video being released with no edits.

"You're trying to convince people of a narrative by putting this video out that's not continuous," Will said.

Bradley said he feels the police did what they needed to and said their presence is vital for the tournament.

"There is no way in the world that today I can do this without the police being here. If we don't have the police, we won't have no Dirt Bowl," Bradley said.

He said there is too much history in the Dirt Bowl for it to be canceled over this.

"We look forward to having it. And I'm saying the straight up. If that situation will kill it, man. It will be a bad mistake," said Bradley.

Ravon Churchill, one of the organizers for the Dirt Bowl, said the tournament will be postponed Saturday and Sunday and will resume on July 23.

Lee was released from the hospital on July 14 and booked into Metro Corrections. He has been arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer, wanton endangerment of a police officer, convicted felon in possession of handgun and fleeing or evading police.

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