The Frustrating, Year-long Process Behind Getting One Louisville Protester’s Charges Dismissed

Jan. 1, 1975: Propelled by the national mania of the drug war, and the corresponding push to criminalize every imaginable human action, the Kentucky General Assembly enacts KRS 525.140, which can land someone in jail for 90 days if they “obstruct a highway.”

Aug. 8, 2020: During Breonna Taylor Summer, my friend becomes my client after she is arrested under that 1975 law. She is a blue-haired, tattooed, middle-aged mom, stylist and photographer who has never been in trouble before. The cop says she was “building a barricade” at 6th and Jefferson. She is held with other protesters, taken to jail, booked and released. According to the electronic records system, my client’s first court date is set for Nov. 2 at 2 a.m. “That can’t be right,” I think. “Court doesn’t happen at 2 a.m.” 

Oct. 29, 2020: I email a prosecutor at the County Attorney’s office who refers me to another prosecutor who then refers me to yet another prosecutor. I diplomatically ask, “What’s with this 2 a.m. court date?” I receive no response of any substance. 

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