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New bills announced to protect rights of protesters

Louisville protests.jpg
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 23:04:13-05

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Democratic State Representatives Lisa Willner and Attica Scott have announced new legislation to protect the safety and legal rights of protesters.

The two held a press conference outside Carl Braden Memorial Center in Louisville to talk about the three new bills.

The bills would focus on protester's rights to assemble and limit intimidating tactics used by law enforcement.

They plan to file the bills on Monday in the Kentucky House of Representatives for consideration in the General Assembly.

"We have not only the death, the murder of Breonna Taylor, the trauma that caused the community, but we have traumatized people walking all over the city traumatized at the hand of police overreach, police excessive use of force against protesters merely showing up to exercise their First Amendment rights," said Willner.

The bills would also ban the use of military-grade equipment and outlaw kettling, which is a tactic used to surround protesters and prevent dispersing.

Last year, Scott was arrested with others during a protest shortly before Louisville's 9 p.m. curfew on Sept. 24 near Louisville Free Public Library and First Unitarian Church at the intersection of South Fourth and York streets.

Her charges included felony rioting, unlawful assembly, and failure to disperse. They were later dismissed.