LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Though Saturday’s Kentucky Derby 146 will be run without spectators, it doesn’t necessarily mean people will stay away from the racetrack.
Several protest groups are planning demonstrations on or near Churchill Downs on Derby Day.
Until Freedom, a national group based in New York City, took to social media on Sunday, posting a flyer for their Derby Day demonstration, called #NoDerby146. The flyer asks people to meet them at South Central Park in Louisville at 4:30 p.m.
The group has been in Louisville since May 26, the day Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker was officially released from home incarceration. They have organized several demonstrations in protest of Taylor’s death. In June, they organized a large march to the Kentucky State Capitol. In July, they organized a demonstration at Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s home. Then in August, they organized a four-day action plan, named #BreonnaCon, to continue demanding justice for Taylor.
Until Freedom is not the only group expected to be in Louisville this weekend.
John Fitzgerald Johnson, otherwise known as Grandmaster Jay, announced on Youtube plans to lead his black militia group, the NFAC, through the city streets on Saturday.
“We are coming into Louisville on September the fifth,” Johnson said.
Back in July, the militia group came to Louisville and marched through downtown.
“If we don’t get the truth, the whole truth, and the mother f*****g truth, then we will burn this mother f***** down,” Johnson said at one point while talking to his supporters.
That quote was directed at Cameron, who has since taken over the investigation into Taylor’s death.
Over the weekend, Cameron appeared on Face The Nation and said he finally received the ballistic reports in the Taylor case. Johnson said he saw Cameron on TV and applauded what he called transparency.
“This is the transparency that I asked for, but at the end of the day, I’m not happy that, transparency or not, now that you got the ballistics back that you claim that that’s all you were waiting for, now it seems like you want to add some more stuff on to it,” Johnson said.
In response to Johnson’s plan, a man who calls himself the Angry Viking also took to social media. He’s the leader of a 3 percenter group, who’s also planning a counter-demonstration on Saturday. In his Youtube video, he calls on supporters to meet him at South Central Park at 8 a.m.
“I will say, there’s going to be more than 2,000 people there on our side,” the man said. “I just want you guys there so it’s not just a bunch of patriots marching, but the citizens of that city coming together, being like, ’f*** yeah man, we’re here, we support Angry Viking and his guys, crew, and we’re sick of this s***,’” he said. “Make your voices heard too.”
WAVE 3 News reached out to the Louisville Metro Police Department, to see if department leaders had spoken with protest leaders ahead of the planned demonstrations. An LMPD spokesperson told WAVE 3 News they were aware of planned protests and would be releasing more information later in the week.