LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police plan to step up enforcement Friday, after two explosions and increasingly dangerous mobile protests.
In a June 12 news conference, Metro Government Public Safety Chief Amy Hess said the ATF, FBI and the LMPD Bomb Squad are investigating, after an explosion created a foot-and-a-half wide crater on Witherspoon Street near Waterfront Park on Thursday night. A second explosion with some property damage was reported nearby.
No arrests have been made, but Hess said investigators are trying to determine what material caused the explosion. She added that "it was louder than any fireworks" their officers had heard. "Behavior like this will not and cannot be tolerated," she said.
Hess explained increasing concerns over safety following two weeks of protests in Louisville. She said mostly peaceful demonstrations begin downtown around Jefferson Square, but the protests are going mobile with people driving in caravans in various parts of the city. The cars are creating traffic and safety concerns. She said the caravans are taking over both lanes of traffic, driving at high rates of speed with people hanging out of windows or riding on top of cars.
A woman in her 20s and her 5-year-old son suffered head injuries and lacerations, after they fell from the hood of a moving vehicle early Friday morning. Hess said the injuries are not life-threatening, but it "could have been much worse." An LMPD spokesman said in an earlier release that the woman and child were injured just after midnight near First and Jefferson Streets.
An increased police presence is planned this weekend, according to Hess. She said the city is aware there are more gatherings planned Friday and this weekend. She said demonstrators need to be safe, and if police continue to see "reckless behavior" putting the community at risk, they "must take action to stop it."
"We want want people to demonstrate, and they have a right to be heard in a push for a more just and equitable society," Hess said. But she added that traffic laws must be followed. She asked for cooperation from protesters.
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