A protester was repeatedly hit in the face by a Louisville police officer as he was being arrested on Sunday, causing outrage among fellow demonstrators who have been protesting against police brutality since last May.
Several Louisville Metro Police Department officers are seen arresting Denorver “Dee” Garrett, 29, near Jefferson Square Park at about 4:30 p.m. on April 18 in a video posted to Facebook.
An officer is seen trying to handcuff Garrett in the 90-second video until he and another officer push the protester to the ground. Garrett’s glasses are broken after the initial officer kicks him four times in the chest.
According to Jamie Hendricks, the person who took the video said that Garrett had been protesting, displaying a signature cross that made him recognizable during the local protest of the death of Breonna Taylor.
Hendricks said that Garrett was speaking to her at her car before he was arrested.
The citation said that Garrett “was causing a disturbance” in the middle of the street for about 30 minutes before being arrested. It also stated that he”resisted the officers’ movements to put his hands together close enough to put handcuffs on. He was given loud verbal commands to stop resisting … which he did not follow.”
According to the citation, an officer “delivered 2-3 closed hand strikes” to Garrett’s face after he was taken to the ground.
Garrett has been charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Last Sunday, Hendricks, who frequently attends marches, said she saw the officer punch Garrett at least four times. Garrett was not resisting the police, she said.
She told The Courier-Journal, “It’s unreal to me that that just happened right in front of me,” she said, “… He was just making his voice heard, and he has a right to do that. It shouldn’t take 10 cops to come over and take care of that.”
Several demonstrators held a press conference in Jefferson Square Park on Sunday night, urging Shields to prosecute the officers involved in the arrest.
“It hurts me,” Cody Garrett, the arrested man’s brother, said. “It just doesn’t make sense for somebody to handcuff somebody and then punch them.”