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Blog: Protesters gather at Churchill Downs, Breonna Taylor banner flies over during race, Authentic takes the 146th Derby win

Multiple groups announced plans for demonstrations across Louisville on the day of the 146 Kentucky Derby. Here are the latest updates.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This is a live blog and will be updated once information is made known

On the day of the running of the 146th Kentucky Derby, multiple groups will be organizing across city to protest the event.  Many of the groups like the Justice and Freedom Coalition, the NFAC and Until Freedom announced plans for demonstrations ahead of the Derby. The groups are calling for justice in the Breonna Taylor case.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby start time, favorite, and odds: All things Derby Saturday in Louisville

A counter-protest group that gathered for a event hosted by the "Angry Viking," a political social media voice, has made their way to downtown.

8:30 p.m. - The protests throughout the day on Saturday were for the most part peaceful, according to Louisville Metro Police.

LMPD, along with Mayor Greg Fischer gave press conference just hours after two large groups of demonstrators protested at Churchill Downs.

Assistant Chief of Police Lavita Chavous said “no arrests or police action had to be taken during the stops.”

Chavous also mentioned protests from earlier Saturday where she said around 200 to 300 people who gathered for a rally at Cox Park marched to Jefferson Square, converging with local protesters.

Many questioned why police didn’t move in on the area where tensions were heightened for a short period.

Chavous said several members from each group began a dialogue to de-escalate the situation and worked together to separate both parties.

Police said there were three arrests none from this incident but said a person was charged with criminal mischief for damaging a dump truck, an arrest for possession of marijuana and a person was also arrested for possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

7:02 p.m. - 146th running of Kentucky Derby starts. Authentic beats Tiz the Law fo the win. 

6:45 p.m. - Jockeys make way to starting positions in empty Churchill Downs. Banner flies over saying "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor."

6:30 p.m. - LMPD keeps groups separated outside Churchill Downs with barricades. All demonstrations appear to be peaceful. 

6:00 p.m. - Groups take positions outside Churchill Downs, greeted by LMPD.

Credit: Jessie Cohen/WHAS-TV
Members of the NFAC gather for a march in Louisville on Sept. 5, 2020

5:50 p.m. - Members of the NFAC have taken a knee right in front of Louisville police officers who are staged at the main entrance of Churchill Downs. Grandmaster Jay spoke with the crowd about it being the first Kentucky Derby without spectators.

5:30 p.m. -Members of the NFAC begin marching towards Churchill Downs while those along the route begin chants of "Say her name -- Breonna Taylor." 

5:21 p.m.  - Protesters begin marching to Churchill Downs. 

5:00 p.m. - The groups have mentioned they have protested for 100 days and will continue with another 100 days as a choir sang "no justice, no peace."

4:40 p.m. - Until Freedom and other local protest groups have gathered at South Central Park in south Louisville. The theme is "No Justice, No Derby."

4:30 p.m. - Grand Master Jay and members of the NFAC have arrived in Louisville. He is having everyone who is in attendance to sign a waiver saying the "NFAC is not responsible" after someone was accidentally shot before a rally back in July.  "I don't want any accidents out there," he said.

Grandmaster Jay also requested everyone to take their magazines out of their weapons, 

2:50 p.m.  - LMPD confirmed that they worked by setting up a staging area to separate protesters and counter-protesters after a confrontation broke out near Metro Hall. Police say it was mostly yelling and conversations.

LMPD has arrived on the scene in downtown where protesters have gathered.

12:45 p.m.- Counter-protesters and protesters meet at the 6th and Jefferson in downtown Louisville.

11:45 a.m. - National Guard arrives at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. 

10 a.m.  - Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron tweets about the Derby and the Breonna Taylor case, "Today, while we honor a KY tradition with the running of the Derby, we remain cognizant of the community’s desire for answers in the investigation into the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor. We continue to move forward with our investigation, reviewing each fact to reach the truth." 

9 a.m. - "Angry Viking" holds event at Cox Park near River Rd. Hundreds gathered with guns and American flags. 

8 a.m. - Multiple roads around Churchill Downs are closed through Saturday.

The full list of closures can be read below:                                       

  • Central Ave. west of 3rd Street – not turning west on Central Ave.
  • 4th Street at Central Ave.
  • 5th Street at Central Ave.
  • 6th Street at Central Ave.
  • Rodman St. at Central Ave.
  • 9th Street at Central Ave.
  • Taylor Blvd. at Central Ave. – no traffic to or from Central Ave.

Stay update on events happening on Derby day by following along on Facebook or Twitter.

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