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Protesters describe their side of Thursday night’s clash with police downtown

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 8:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Protesters recounted a clash with police Thursday night with WAVE 3 News, describing what happened just a few yards away from Jefferson Square Park. Two adults were arrested and a 14-year-old girl was hurt and sent to the hospital.

Cheyenne Osuala, one of the protesters arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct, said she and other protesters noticed plain-clothed men on the roof of the old jail building shooting down pepper balls at demonstrators. Concerned the men could be counter-protesters trying to harm them, Osuala and Emma McKinney asked LMPD officers if they were police.

“They had told us from their understanding, there weren’t any officers on the building scoping out anymore. So, that’s why we were very confused on why there wasn’t a sense of urgency of them wanting to check out the situation,” McKinney explained.

Osuala and McKinney said their group went to the top of the Armory at Liberty parking garage to find out who the men were. That’s when they said police quickly followed.

According to arrest records, Osuala refused to leave the parking garage when asked to leave by police. However, Osuala told WAVE 3 News officers blocked her from leaving.

“I feel like I didn’t really get a chance to realize I was being arrested or why I was arrested because I was in a lot of pain,” Osuala said.

She said her arresting officer broke her wrist and caused temporary nerve damage when he apprehended her.

LMPD also arrested 22-year-old Malik Madale. According to arrest reports, officers saw Madale throwing an explosive device at the Grand Jury building while a crowd stood close by. After police tried to apprehend him, he ran.

Despite Thursday night’s incident, Osuala and McKinney will continue to protest.

“For me, it’s to say I’m not scared,” Osuala said. “I’ve been out there every day, I’ll keep going every day; it doesn’t matter because what they did was wrong and I’m going to stand by that. I’m not going to let anyone think I’m going to back down from something like that because I’m not.”

Police say a 14-year-old girl was injured and transported to the hospital Thursday night during the unrest. LMPD’s integrity unit is investigating what happened.

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