St. Matthews maintains curfew amid protests

St. Matthews maintains curfew amid protests

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville suburb of St. Matthews will continue to impose a curfew until the morning of Monday, June 8.

Mayor Greg Fischer lifted the curfew in Louisville after criticism that it had been enforced unevenly, but St. Matthews Police Chief Barry Wilkerson said its curfew is intended to keep people safe.

“It is another tool for us to use to help keep the individuals out who are not trying to send a positive message,” Wilkerson said, “those who are trying to destroy property and vandalize. I don't think that is what this message is trying to send for the protesters.”

The department came under intense criticism after a widely shared video showed officers handcuffing Louisville Pastor Tim Findley on Monday. Findley can be seen face down on the ground, but police say no excessive force was used.

On Wednesday, officers fired pepper balls to push demonstrators out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Wilkerson said no one was targeted and no one was hit.

He said officers and protesters share common ground.

“We just want to make sure there's positive relations,” Wilkerson said. “We want the message to get out. Trust me, we are hearing them. It's changed an old man's point of view that's been in law-enforcement for over 30 years. So if they can get me to change and listen, I think they're doing a great thing.”

The St. Matthews curfew is in effect from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. until Monday morning.

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