LOUISVILLE, KY. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Government has spent more than $112,200 reimbursing 151 protesters for items that were damaged at Jefferson Square Park in June, according to the mayor’s office. However, others like ShaChaunda Lee say they are still waiting to be reimbursed as Mayor Greg Fischer promised.
Lee spent her days in May and June cooking for protesters at Jefferson Square Park who were calling for justice for Breonna Taylor. According to Lee, her grills, three tents, air mattresses, shoes, and more, totaling around $5,000 were damaged by the city.
Under Mayor Fischer’s orders, Louisville Metro employees cleared out the park following a deadly shooting the night before. Protesters were told their items would be moved to another location where they could later collect them. Instead, they were thrown away at the local dump.
Fischer has since apologized and told protesters the city would fully reimburse the cost of the items in good faith. However, Lee said the city only offered to reimburse a fraction of her items’ values unless she showed receipts.
“I’ve been through a house fire; there are a lot of reasons why I don’t have the receipts for the items,” Lee said. “Asking for receipts for stuff after they stole it and destroyed it is like another slap in the face.”
Eliza Thompson, a protester who has been helping others file claims, said there are still around 60 claims waiting to be processed.
“Protesters are out items,” Thompson said, “The city is out now, I don’t know, a couple hundred thousand dollars, and this all could have been avoided.”
Thompson told WAVE 3 News the city may have asked for Lee’s receipts because her claim was higher than most. Either way, she said Louisville Metro Government needs to process the remaining claims quickly, including Lee’s, to rebuild the citizens’ trust.
“My grill was smashed like this flat,” Lee said, “It’s just devastating when you do something good for a great cause, for the movement, and I’m trying to teach my girls who have been with me every day, I’m trying to teach them something different in life about caring and compassion, and then they see this is what our government is doing to us.”
The city has closed 151 of the protesters’ claims and paid $112,208.86 to settle the claims so far, according to the mayor’s office.
“In the 30 days following the reimbursement announcement, the city was able to work with local groups to help expedite the process without requiring proof of receipt,” a statement from Fischer’s office stated. “As we get further away from the initial announcement, the city is requiring proof of receipt for personal property listed on claim forms.”