LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dee Garrett doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
Garrett spoke Monday, a day after Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers arrested him for disorderly conduct for protesting against police brutality with a cross that’s taller than him in the middle of the street near Jefferson Square Park.
What You Need To Know
- Dee Garrett spoke out Monday after LMPD officers arrested him for disorderly conduct for protesting against police brutality in Jefferson Square Park
- Video of the arrest showed officers punching him in the face multiple times
- LMPD says it's conducting an internal investigation
- Garrett's attorney says he was "lawfully exercising his First Amendment rights"
“He was not creating a disturbance. He was not alarming motorists. He did not block any cars,” said David Mour, Garrett’s attorney. “He was lawfully exercising his First Amendment rights.”
Video of the arrest showed officers punching him in the face multiple times after wrestling him down to the ground.
Officers in the video told Garrett to stop flexing, but Garrett said he couldn’t fit his arms behind his back the way officers wanted him to.
“I’m not resisting. They was trying to pull me and pull me and pull me,” Garrett said. “And when I felt that first trip that they tried to hit me, I’m like damn, they’re really trying to make an exam — they’re really trying to do me bad.”
Garrett suffered injuries to his eye and his knee.
“I could’ve been a George Floyd yesterday. I could’ve been a Daunte (Wright). But God’s grace is good,” he said.
Garrett says the police department didn’t even give him medical attention until he was able to get ahold of Mour.
“I can’t describe to you how I felt,” Mour said. “I was not surprised, unfortunately, but angered, disgusted. It was gross. It was just a terrible example of what’s happening in this community.”
Louisville Metro Police Chief Erica Shields released a statement, saying the department was opening an investigation within its own professional standards unit.
“Social media video of the arrest shows an officer striking a man several times in the face, while he is on the ground,” Shields said in the statement. “This raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”
The best way for Shields to make amends with protesters, Garrett says, is to show up and talk to them.
“I’ve never seen that lady out here, and for her to say that she cares about what’s going on, she’s gotta show me,” Garrett said.
Mour doesn’t expect anything to come out of the internal investigation.
“There’s no comfort in what the police department says, and that’s because we the people have watched LMPD, for over a year, lie and misrepresent,” Mour said. “They lie when they don’t have to lie. They lie when it’s on camera. They lie all the time. That’s their mantra.”
A voicemail seeking additional comment from LMPD’s public information office has not been returned.