LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Karl Price is an attorney representing a group called “The 87,” made up of the 87 protesters who were arrested following a demonstration on the front lawn of the newly-purchased home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Price showed WAVE 3 News one a citation for one of the protesters, many of whom were accused of disorderly conduct, trespassing, and felony intimidation.
“There’s nothing in the four corners of this document that indicates that a felony has been committed,” Price said.
Price also said the history of the intimidation law being used for the charge was intended for domestic violence victims. He said the state is going to struggle to prove protesters were a direct threat to Cameron because he was not at home at the time. It’s believed he has not moved into the home yet, as he had just closed on the house two weeks ago, and there were no signs of life inside the home during Tuesday’s protest.
“The burden on the state is to prove that there was a direct threat to kill or injure a person and this person that we’ve been told is the attorney general,” Price said, adding that the statute includes no mention of threats to homes or structures.
A spokesperson for LMPD, Jesse Halladay, released a statement confirming the felony charge issued against the demonstrators was KRS 524.040 ‘intimidating a participant in a legal process.’ Halladay said police commanders who were monitoring the protests watched people gather and state they were going to Cameron’s house, knowing he was a participant in the Breonna Taylor case, leading to the felony intimidation charges.
“Prior to arriving at the home, it was stated the intent of the protest was to ‘escalate’ their actions, which in the past has indicated violent or destructive behavior. At one point on a live stream, protestors are heard saying they will burn it down if they don’t get what they want,” Halladay said in the statement. “These actions were taken to mean a threat of violence toward Attorney General Cameron, leading to the decision to charge under KRS 524.040.”
LMPD said protesters said they wanted to escalate their actions, and that in the past, that meant violence. As protests have raged across many American cities for nearly two months, Louisville has seen some of the most vocal crowds in light of the deadly police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Linda Sarsour, founder of the activist group Until Freedom, which organized Tuesday’s protest, said LMPD cannot use past protests, protesters’ actions as an indicator for Until Freedom’s intent.
“Escalation is a very common term in organizing in the movement,” she said. “It means that people protest, people rally, people may engage in the occupation of parks ... Escalation also means civil disobedience.
“Now, protesters have more charges against them than the actual cops that killed Beronna Taylor.”
LMPD said an intimidation charge would be considered if someone influences or attempts to influence the testimony, vote, decision, or opinion of another person.