LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Saturday afternoon protest at a Highlands bank quickly spiraled out of control, with five people being arrested and confusion about what exactly happened.
The Occupy Louisville group is crying foul, after they say five of their members were pulled inside the bank by LMPD officers, only to be arrested.
"This is an eviction notice," a protestor chants from a speaker phone Saturday afternoon.
From far away, video shows an Occupy Louisville protestor taping a sign to the Baxter Avenue Chase Bank. The group says it was taking action against the bank for what it calls unfair foreclosure practices.
It isn't long before LMPD arrives to check things out. Conversations quickly turn into confrontations.
An eyewitness tells WAVE 3 that police asked some people to come inside the bank, and Robin Cook says that invitation was instead a one-way ticket to jail.
"They took one guy in the bank and detained him and arrested him," Cook said.
And it gets heated when another protestor gets asked to come inside.
"She said, 'I'm not comfortable doing that' and they said 'you need to come inside' and she asked if she was being arrested and four police officers forcibly grabbed her and took her inside the bank," Cook said.
She's talking about Alyson Hill. Video from another eyewitness shows the conversation with police that led to things getting out of hand.
The video shows the conversation between Hill and police, after officers asked her to come inside the bank:
Hill: "Can you stay out here and talk to me?" Officer1: "No we want to talk to you in here." Officer2: "No that way we don't here the banging and everything." Hill: "I don't feel comfortable with that. Can everyone be quiet so they can talk." Officer 1: "Okay well we're going to have to go inside. " Officer 3: "Lay this down and come inside. " Hill: "I don't have to go inside"
After that comment, the video shows the chaos and the chanting, with the violence and shoving getting underway.
Video from another protestor inside the bank shows yet another scene. A protestor screams that a man, 42-year-old Donald Baum, is bleeding.
His partner says he wasn't bleeding, until after he was forced inside.
"He went in with no bruises or anything on his face and when he came out he had a band-aid on his head," said protestor David Barfield.
Those arrested face charges stemming from disorderly conduct to assault, and were released from Louisville Metro Corrections Saturday night.
Their reunion with the rest of the Occupy group caps off a long and unexpected day.
"The police and occupy have worked so well together up until today. It's just like a meltdown, I don't know what happened," Barfield said.
Those released from jail spoke exclusively to WAVE 3 News Saturday night about the ordeal.
"I was trying to get the cops attention that she looks like she's going to pass out so I just like grabbed him to mention to him hey look she's going to pass out now and all I remember is being thrown to the ground and maybe have my shoulder dislocated," Corine Geter explained.
"I was selected as the first to be arrested and some of the brethren reacted and one of them got hurt," Robert Johnson said.
"We're disappointed in LMPD's violent response to a non-violent protest," Marianna Ashley said.
"I feel like my first amendment rights were violated. I experienced police brutality because I was trying to share my voice," Alyson Hill said.
The group says they'll continue their protests in Louisville.
The Occupy group said they are talking to an attorney.
LMPD says they were called to keep the group from blocking the door to the bank, but isn't commenting further.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:01 AM EDT2013-06-19 04:01:14 GMT
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