LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Parents are upset over comments made as cheerleaders headed into a competition Saturday at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.
Protesters for racial justice held signs and used chants with profanities as children headed to and from the convention center at S. Fourth and W. Jefferson streets. Demonstrators also spoke directly to cheerleaders and parents outside an entrance to the center.
"The reason why you get to be here in these pretty little gorgeous outfits and your gorgeous hair and your gorgeous bows is because of your white privilege," protest leader, Carmen M. Jones said over a megaphone. The moment was documented in a Facebook livestream from Tara Bassett with 502 Livestreamers.
"Breonna (Taylor) is dead," Jones continued. "Black mothers are burying their babies while white mothers send their daughters to cheer competitions."
A father of cheerleaders, Rob, said protesters "were badgering them all the way in the door" and that his oldest daughter "cried for about an hour" after the interaction.
"You could see it affected all these kids," said Rob, who did not provide his last name or want to show his face on camera during an interview with WDRB News.
Rob acknowledged the protesters' right to demonstrate but said the kids did not deserve to be involved.
"If there's a problem within life, you keep it between adults," he said. "You don't take kids and add them into the problems. It had nothing to do with them. Even if you have something that you're passionate about. That wasn't the way to go about it."
Speaking to WDRB News on Sunday, Jones said she and other protesters are standing by their words and their message.
"Yes, I did tell them don't be somebody that my child is going to have to fight," she said. "Because right now I'm fighting the grandchildren, the great grandchildren of people's ancestors who didn't do right.
"... Breonna Taylor will never be able to have a child to be able to take to a cheer competition," she continued. "If Black kids are children enough and child enough and mature enough to go through the things that we go through as children, then their children are children enough, child enough and mature enough to learn about their privilege."
Taylor, a Black woman, was shot and killed March 13, 2020, by white Louisville Metro Police officers serving a search warrant at her apartment near Pleasure Ridge Park. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot at officers when they used a battering ram to break down the apartment door shortly before 1 a.m. The officers combined to return 32 shots, and Taylor was hit six times and died in her hallway.
None of the officers who fired their weapons into Taylor's apartment were charged in connection with her death.
LMPD responded to Saturday's protest and made three arrests, according to a spokeswoman with the department. Two of those arrests occurred at S. Fourth and W. Jefferson streets, documents show. Those individuals were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway.
In a statement, LMPD spokeswoman Beth Ruoff said the department "respects the right to protest and is committed to working with any entity or individual on identifying a path forward that allows for freedom of expression in a manner that does not create public safety issues."
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.