A Louisville diner pulled out a handgun at armed Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters surrounding a restaurant during a demonstration for Breonna Taylor during the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. The unidentified man was reportedly eating at upscale French eatery La Chasse night when he confronted the group of around 50 protesters outside the restaurant, according to a report in Louisville Courier-Journal.
Louisville Metro Police spokesperson Alicia Smiley confirmed to Fox News that the protesters were also armed. Kentucky is an open carry state. However, the video footage that was tweeted by a report at the outlet has since gone viral.
Shock or Surprise?
Footage of the incident shows Saturday's armed confrontation at La Chasse wherein are seen marching ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby over Taylor's death at the hands of police during a raid at her home in March 2020. They then appear to gather outside the restaurant where there are many diners. Many of the protesters too can be seen carrying arms.
Suddenly, one of the diners, an elderly man, in a light blue shirt can be seen pointing his handgun at the protesters who were arguing with him as one female demonstrator urged the group to keep moving down the block. The scene immediately got tensed.
Some protesters intervened and requested the other demonstrators to move away from the man who drew the gun. However, things didn't take a turn for the worse as police arrived shortly. A restaurant worker told police "that multiple armed protesters entered the restaurant property, which included outdoor dining space," according to Fox News. However, it's not known why the elderly man drew his handgun.
At least five people were arrested in connection with the incident. Charges include possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, failure to disperse and evading police, TMZ reported. However, the unidentified man with the handgun does not appear to have been arrested.
"During the encounter both patrons and protesters brandished firearms," Smiley told the Louisville Courier-Journal. Smiley further said: "This incident occurred after the arrests of southbound protesters in the area on the 1500 block of Bardstown Road."
"The arrests of that group were made after protesters repeatedly blocked the roadway despite officers giving multiple verbal requests for them to utilize the sidewalk." However, no gun violence was reported during the protests. It is legal to carry handguns in Kentucky, according to the National Rifle Association.
The Justice Department announced last month that it is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky, over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was shot to death by police during a raid at her home.