Video shows caravan of protesters driving against traffic in St. Matthews

Video shows caravan of protesters driving against traffic in St. Matthews

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New video shows the actions of some protesters in a caravan that left from downtown Louisville to St. Matthews this week.

At its peak Tuesday night, the caravan included as many as 200 vehicles, according to LMPD.

The video, released by St. Matthews police, showed the protesters driving erratically down the busy Shelbyville Road.

“People hear caravan, we hear a caravan, they are on the right side of the road and following the laws and everything else but they’re not,” Chief Barry Wilkerson said. “They are running red lights, they are on the wrong side of the road, they are running people off the road.”

The video shows several protesters hanging out of car windows and sunroofs while driving against traffic in what is often a busy area of town.

One of them, Wilkerson said, was standing up through one vehicle’s sunroof holding an AK-47, threatening to shoot police if they tried to stop him.

"It's just extremely dangerous," Wilkerson said.

The video also showed Abiel Twelde swerving against traffic, stopping his car in the middle of the road, and flipping officers off three different times.

On the third occasion, he was boxed in and drove into a police vehicle, then backed into another and refused to get out. Officers broke a car window before he finally agreed to get out of the vehicle. He then told police he’s got cash.

“I have a rich family,” Twelde said.

“So what you are saying is that you can afford to act like this?” the officer responded.

Twelde then denied it was him.

“I’m trying to get home,” Twelde said.

“No you’re not,” the officer responded.

“It’s the wrong person,” Twelde told him. “You arrest the wrong person.”

“I’ve got it on video, man” the officer replied.

“OK, OK, you got everything,” Twelde said.

Once in the back of the car, the suspect was seen kicking the door several times before he started crying.

“Now you are going to start crying?” the officer asked. “Come on now.”

The kicking continued until an officer had enough.

“What did I do?” Twelde asked.

“What did you do?” the officer asked. “You rammed into that police car, you dumbass.”

Wilkerson told WAVE 3 News his department has had 6,000 protesters in St. Matthews who haven’t broken any laws and have police support, but this protest wasn’t the same.

"It's become more of a game than it has a message at this point," Wilkerson said. "And we're just trying to keep our community safe."

Wilkerson said breaking the law during protesting is not OK, and that his department has the support of its mayor to do what’s needed to keep people safe.

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