Mayor Fischer to take reimbursement claims from park protesters on ‘good faith’

Mayor Fischer to take reimbursement claims from park protesters on ‘good faith’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Dozens of people made Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville home while protesting over the last several weeks by pitching tents and camping out, but now, the city and protesters are left picking up the pieces of the makeshift campsite after a fatal shooting over the weekend.

There are two dumping sites at Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management Department with items that belong to people who were at Jefferson Square on Saturday. Tents, tables and a grill are waiting to be claimed.

“To be told our belongings would be secured, [and] the next day for everyone to find out their belongings were treated like trash, put in a trash compactor broken to pieces, then we were told to come to the dump to find out whose was whose,” Eliza Thompson, a protester, said.

Sunday afternoon, Mayor Greg Fischer apologized for how the clean up was handled on Saturday night. His office says people will be allowed to fill out claims and turn them in to get any of their lost belongings back or payment.

Thompson explained to WAVE 3 News she has been the point of contact for her fellow protesters to get in touch with Fischer’s office.

”The mayor’s office has said they’re going to take people’s itemized list, valuations at good faith,” Thompson said. “They’re likely not going to need photos because we don’t have photos of most people’s stuff.”

Fischer says once a claims form has been completed, the city will give the person money.

Thompson says she and other protesters feel it’s too late and that the damage has been done.

From a logistics standpoint, Louisville Metro Councilman James Peden says Fischer’s reimbursement announcement has ruffled some feathers.

“‘We’re going to reimburse you for your losses.’ That’s a slap in the face of Louisvillians,” Peden said. “Huge slap in the face of any business downtown that were raided and looted. It’s a slap in the face to them. I know the mayor hasn’t extended those offers to those folks.”

As of Monday, protesters haven’t gotten a timeline from the city as to when they’ll get their reimbursement. However, Thompson said there are about 100 claims that will be filed.

Councilman Peden says where the reimbursement money will come from has yet to be established.

”If it does not come from our self-insurance, he will have to come to Metro Council to reroute some budget money,” Peden said.

From now on, LMPD plans to enforce the city park ordinance. Jefferson Square will close at 11 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. No one will be allowed to sleep there overnight.

Anything left at the park will be considered abandoned and be confiscated by LMPD.

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