Louisville Police Review Officer’s Actions Against Occupy Louisville

by Devin Katayama on February 27, 2012

Louisville Metro police officials say the department is reviewing actions taken by an officer over the weekend while police arrested five Occupy Louisville demonstrators.

Lieutenant Colonel Kenton Buckner (pictured) addressed the media Monday and said protestors refused to move from blocking the bank’s door last Saturday. Bank management and customers felt unsafe, he said, and both police officers and a demonstrator suffered injuries during the arrests. The department is now reviewing the officer’s actions, said Buckner.

“Just preliminary, looking at the tapes that we have, we feel comfortable with the actions that the officer took in this. But this is a preliminary investigation, we haven’t completed our investigation,” he said.

Until Saturday Louisville has set a model for other cities with Occupy movements, Buckner said.

Greg Huda was one of the demonstrators who witnessed the arrests. He said Occupy Louisville educates its members on peaceful protest and the consequences of actions during non-violent actions.

“I didn’t want it to go that far and I did feel like LMPD played their part in that…in escalating it unnecessarily, I felt. And that put a lot tension on the whole scene. And I felt they were really heavy handed in the beginning, I’m talking before we even got to the situation when there was doors being grabbed and people being pushed,” said Huda.

Of the five arrested, three were regular participants in the Occupy Louiville movement, he said. The other two, he said, were recent members. This affects the amount of training and civil disobedience education those members might have received, he said.

LMPD would like to continue having dialogue with demonstrators to keep a cooperative relationship going, said Buckner.

“Going forward will continue to try to have dialogue with them to keep that cooperative relationship. Thus far we feel like the city of Louisville has been a model for the Occupy movement. We haven’t had a lot of arrests, we haven’t had a lot of property damage and we’re very proud of that,” Buckner said.

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