LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Wednesday night, Louisville’s Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess testified in front of Metro Council about the city’s response to the unrest. A number of LMPD command officers, including Assistant Chief Josh Judah, also offered their testimony regarding police actions.
During his testimony, Judah addressed the tent community that popped up in Jefferson Square Park in June.
“The tents in the park were a problem," Judah told Metro Council’s Government Oversight and Audit Committee chairman Brent Ackerson. “As the tent situation grew, the problems in the park grew, culminating in the homicide, the murder, of Tyler Gerth.”
Gerth was shot and killed on June 27. One day later, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer ordered metro employees to clear the park and remove the tents that had become fixtures in it. In the process, several protesters’ belongings were either destroyed or thrown out.
On Thursday, WAVE 3 News obtained a copy of the reimbursement claims submitted to the city from June 29 - July 20.
In that time-frame, the paperwork shows 118 claims made against the city. Seventy-four of the claims request reimbursement for tent(s) lost. Other items listed in the claims include Yeti coolers, grills, food and drinks, laptops, mattresses, an Xbox, and TVs, among other things. Protesters told WAVE 3 News reimbursements were given based on “good faith."
Forty-four of the claims accuse city employees of damaging $1,000 or more worth of property. The most expensive claim listed in the spreadsheet comes from the KY Alliance, which claimed $33,296 worth of damages to “Large Volume of liquids, food, tents, tarps, coolers, paper products, etc...”
According to the spreadsheet, the city has not reimbursed that claim.
The claims total $144,860.88 worth of damage. The city has settled $60,259.91.
On Wednesday, Judah told Ackerson Metro Public Works was responsible for the damage caused, and LMPD officers were present that day to act as security, ensuring the Public Works employees were safe during the process.
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“The police department was allowed to accompany public works to clear out the park,” Judah said. “I can’t speak to the removal of the property or anything. We didn’t have anything to do with that. Public Works, Public Works moved the tents out. We provided essentially the security to facilitate that.”
He also said he requested to remove the tents from Jefferson Square Park before Gerth’s death.
“We requested, when the first tents went up, permission to remove them. That was a decision I asked directly Chief Schroeder. Chief Schroeder said no we’re not going to do that.”