LMPD enforces compliance laws with ICE protesters in downtown Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - LMPD took steps Thursday to make sure ICE protesters are in compliance with local and state laws.
At 6 a.m., officers and Public Works employees gave protesters a 15-minute warning before they began to enforce the compliance laws. Those included creating a required four-foot walkway through the Occupy ICE camp at Seventh Street and West Broadway.
By mid-morning, the streets and sidewalks were completely clear, with the exception of the bicycle barricades officers placed to mark a 4-foot buffer area.
"We came at 6," LMPD Spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said. "We told them we'd give them 15 minutes to clear it themselves if they wanted to move the things that were in that buffer zones we'd ask them and drawn the lines for last week.
"No one moved to move anything, so once the 15 minutes expired, our officers went in and removed everything was not in compliance."
In a Facebook post, LMPD says since protests began on July 2, it has made several requests for protesters to make the area passable.
The protesters were also told not to block parking spaces for the public and law enforcement.
LMPD spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said officers did not destroy any property belonging to the demonstrators.
"We did not tear down the camp at all," Halladay said. "We removed anything that was not in compliance with the buffer zone that we have been asking them for the past 17 days to come into compliance with."
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city did not violate the demonstrators' right to protest.
"All that happened this morning is we brought the protesters into compliance with the law," Fischer said. "They can still protest, they're just has to be a 4-foot passageway on the sidewalks."
The group called the LMPD's tactics "heavy-handed" in a statement released on its Facebook page and said they "will be as defiant as ever."
All streets in the area remained open to traffic while the items were cleared.
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