LMPD announces Derby weekend safety plan, road closures

Derby weekend safety plan, road closures announced by LMPD

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD representatives on Wednesday announced safety plans, including traffic closures for the upcoming Kentucky Derby weekend.

LMPD said this year their plan is more condensed than in years past because there are no spectators allowed at the track.

“Derby in September but that’s the reality of 2020, and part of that reality is that we are expecting continued demonstrations for racial justice at the track,” Fischer said.

Multiple protest groups said they plan to protest at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, including Until Freedom and the NFAC. Both groups have marched in Louisville in recent weeks.

LMPD said they are also aware of a 3-percent group who is organizing a Back the Blue rally/march on Saturday at Cox Park.

“We support peaceful and lawful efforts to draw attention to the need for racial equity in our city and our country,” Fischer said.

Fischer added if anyone blocks traffic or trespasses private property, they will be cited or arrested.

LMPD Major Aubrey Gregory said he personally has been in contact with NFAC’s leader Grand Master Jay and other NFAC leaders in Louisville leading up to this weekend.

“The information we have passed along is their intent to protest at Churchill Downs,” Gregory said. “We have coordinated where they will arrive at, what route they intend to use to get to that area I’ve asked them to be in.”

Gregory said the NFAC plans to be in town for about four to five hours Saturday.

NFAC’S Leader told WAVE 3 news they never break the law and they do not plan to get arrested.

Police plan to funnel protesters to certain areas near the track.

“In an effort to keep those persons who want to protest safe, and in an effort to keep the general public who live and work in that space safe, we will try and funnel these persons with different viewpoints into specific areas to prevent confrontation between those groups,” Gregory said.

The traffic closures in the map below will begin Friday at 8 a.m. and will be lifted Saturday night following the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at historic Churchill Downs.

Once again this year, WAVE 3 News is your official Derby station. Click here to view our weekend programming schedule.

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