Ferguson protest rally moves through downtown Louisville
After protesters assembled near the police station, the crowd began moving through downtown Louisville accompanied by police road blocks.
Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 3:11 pm EST
Wednesday, November 26th 2014, 8:13 am EST
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hundreds of protesters gathered outside LMPD headquarters in downtown Louisville Tuesday evening as part of a Ferguson2Louisville no indictment rally.
The rally was in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Mike Brown on Aug. 9 after confronting him in the street. Brown was unarmed.
The protesters carried signs and chanted things like "Black Lives Matter," "Mike Brown" and "No Racist Police."
Police say they had handled demonstrations in the past and they've all been peaceful.
Protesters said they weren't out to be violent.
"I think this is people demanding justice and I think that you can demand it with words or you can demand it with wars like our founding fathers did," Protester Billy howler said. "I'd rather do it with words, so I show up at these things. If there's any violence I'll be scooting away."
Protesters ended up walking from the police station and all over downtown, chanting "hands up, don't shoot."
At one point, they stopped in the middle of Market Street right near Fifth Street. Police had to direct traffic around them, because they blocked several drivers. More than a dozen backed out and were re-directed down 5th.
LMPD officers say they plan for anything and had more than two dozen officers on the streets.
The crowd eventually moved to the side walk and continued marching down 4th street.
The protesters said they were showing support as a matter of principal.
Some protesters had specific goals in mind and many of the original rally's organizers said they include a national and local database be created to track all police related shootings. They also want LMPD officers wearing body cameras during their entire shift and they ask that the VIPER Squad be dismantled.
"We want to let Louisville police know that we want those body cameras.. we were told July 1st this year.. now we're being told July again," protester D'Neika Anderson said.
"If the young people continue what the older people started years ago, hopefully something will come out of it," Ann Reynolds added.
Following the protest, Mayor Greg Fischer organized a community outreach discussion that included LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.
People taking part in the rally say police need to be held accountable and they're asking the city re-instate its citizen review board. Chief Conrad wants them to know their voices are heard.
"I am ultimately the one that holds people accountable, I make decisions on who's hired, who's promoted, who's fired and who's disciplined," Chief Conrad said.
The grand jury decision Monday sparked protests in several cities.
The rally in Louisville was organized on social media, including a Facebook page called
in the weeks leading up to the grand jury decision.
According to posts to the Facebook page, some of the goals of the rally were: "de-militarization of our police forces, an independent community based police accountability council, and a state sponsored community patrol corp whose efforts are supplemented by but not led by our local police force."
Earlier Tuesday, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell called Brown's killing and the aftermath "a difficult situation all the way around, and our hearts go out to everyone who was involved in it."
McConnell was asked if he thought it was appropriate for Attorney General Eric Holder to have the Justice Department pursue federal charges.
"The Attorney General will have to decide what if anything is appropriate," said McConnell, who spoke to reporters after an appearance at the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce and La Grange Rotary Club. "The criminal justice system worked. That's the way it's supposed to work in this country. Frequently people are not happy on one side or the other when things don't go their way."
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