Felony charges for Cameron protesters could be hard to prove

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Eighty-seven demonstrators, taken into custody after gathering on the front lawn of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s house, now face some of the most serious charges since the Breonna Taylor protests began.

Among disorderly conduct and trespassing, demonstrators are charged with a felony that could result in a five-year prison sentence.

Kentucky law states that “a person is guilty of intimidating a participant in the legal process when, by use of physical force or a threat directed to a person he believes to be a participant in the legal process.”

The violation is listed as a Class D felony.

Cameron is leading the state investigation into actions of Louisville police officers involved in the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

Demonstrators gathered on Cameron’s lawn Tuesday and chanted, demanding Cameron bring charges against the officers.

Louisville defense attorneys said they believe it would be difficult for prosecutors to make a case for the felony.

“That’s really what this comes down to,” said attorney Brian Butler, who is not involved in the case. “To prove this case, you have to prove violence or you have to prove a threat of physical violence.”

Demonstrators were not violent, and Cameron’s house, in the Graymoor-Devondale area, appeared to be vacant at the time. He had actually just closed on the house on July 2.

“If the police could prove that people were threatening harm to Daniel Cameron or members of his family, or friends or administration, then they could make that charge,” Butler said. “But if it was simply a peaceful protest demanding that action be taken in one way or the other, I think it would be very difficult to prove that charge beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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