An unidentified Louisville, Kentucky, protester pulled a gun on Black Lives Matter protesters who approached and crowded around a restaurant’s outside dining area, according to a viral video. A local journalist and Louisville police said some of the BLM protesters were also armed as the tense scene erupted with the famed Kentucky Derby around the corner.
The video was posted by Hayes Gardner, a reporter with the Courier-Journal. Gardner wrote on his Twitter page, “For those who have asked, yes this man appeared to be armed, as were a few protesters. It was a tense few minutes. #Louisville.” The protesters were marching in advance of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby.
Here’s the video:
This video contains additional footage of the scene, also from the Courier-Journal.
Here’s what you need to know:
‘Multiple Armed Protesters Entered the Restaurant Property,’ Police Were Told
People were armed on both sides of the encounter, police say.
According to Fox News, a restaurant employee told police dispatchers that “multiple armed protesters entered the restaurant property, which included outdoor dining space.”
Alicia Smiley, the police spokeswoman, told Fox: “During the encounter both patrons and protesters brandished firearms. This incident occurred after the arrests of southbound protesters in the area on the 1500 block of Bardstown Road. The arrests of that group were made after protesters repeatedly blocked the roadway despite officers giving multiple verbal requests for them to utilize the sidewalk.”
The Courier-Journal reported that at least three protesters were arrested. There were no reports that any of the restaurant patrons were arrested.
The Courier-Journal reported that police showed up at the restaurant shortly after the confrontation that was captured on video. The newspaper added, “Other protesters intervened and told them to keep moving away from the men.”
The Protesters Were Marching for Breonna Taylor
La Chasse was the name of the restaurant where the incident occurred. The protesters were marching for Breonna Taylor, the woman who was shot and killed by police in a drug search warrant raid.
In the video, the protesters crowded near the outside patio chairs. A woman appeared to be getting them away from the restaurant shouting, “no, no keep going.”
A man with a mask held his hands in the air. The diner with the gun stood motionless with it, and people didn’t really react to it much in the video. The man’s name is not known.
The march outside the famed Churchill Downs consisted of only about 20 protesters, although marchers in other areas had more, according to the Courier-Journal. Gardner reported that some of the protesters’ carried signs that said things like: “No Justice No Peace” and “No Justice No Derby.” The Louisville Police Department filmed and shared its own livestream showing the police response to the protest.
People shared the video of the man with the gun widely on social media. “I bet we see more of this…” wrote one. Some people applauded the man, saying they oppose when protesters disrupt people dining at restaurants, which has happened in other cities.