On Aug. 25, “Love and Hip Hop” star Yandy Smith grabbed the hand of assistant celebrity advocate Porsha Williams as they approached officers in riot gear as they protested the killing of Benona Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We were sitting next to each other with locked arms,” he told Page Six. “And we were both scared, but feeling so empowered and brave.”
Smith, 40, Williams, 39, and more than 600 others were part of a peaceful “Labor Day” march organized by the Social Justice Group until independence. The team traveled from the Louisville Metro Police Department’s training facility to the Danny Krum Overpass, where they were eventually stopped for traffic obstruction.
Smith said until then the freedom organizers had warned protesters to stay calm, walk quietly toward the bridge to avoid touching or shouting at officials.
He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture, and that his confession had been obtained through torture.
Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
“We knew we were going to be arrested at the moment,” he said. “But it just happened when I wanted to, ‘Well, I’m going to stand up.’ ‘I don’t know if they’ll start sprinkling pepper. If they’re going to do something, they won’t do it behind me.’
The reality star said police did not warn them that they would be arrested or given a chance to leave.
One by one, each protester was placed in plastic handcuffs and sitting on a carb, they waited in a 98 degree heat for about 98 hours to be processed.
They were then taken in a paddy truck, where protesters were taken to a nearby jail, Smith said.
Inside the van, the “LHNHY” star said the men and women were divided into rows and they knelt down and clung together.
“Most of us were claustrophobic,” he said, “some removing their facial masks because” you can’t keep your mask on while you’re in that van. “
At the end of the 25-minute journey, they arrived at the detention center, where Smith said the protesters were handcuffed to a temporary metal cage outside the parking lot before a rigorous search process could continue.
Eric Branch / Xavier Barrell Arrested Until Yandi Smith Protests Independence
Before the protesters were transferred to a room, each person was “processed”, meaning they were asked to remove jewelry, weapons and cell phones.
Smith had two phones – one that was first confiscated and the other hidden in his pants pocket that helped him leak some footage on social media – but he said he turned it on during the search.
“I wanted to document as much as possible so that people could see, as we are protesting peacefully as these young killers go to work.” “They are living their lives on holiday. Those of us who are trying to get justice for it and not breaking the law are being arrested.”
Smith said the only COVID-19 screening before entering the facility was that their temperature was taken and they were asked, “Have you come in contact with COVID?”
“Basically, they tell you that you’ve been exposed, you’ll go to a room with people with cavities,” he said, “they make you process your mask, so you’re talking to these officers – they have some masks, they Many do not.
However, the amendment said in a statement to the Louisville Metro Division Page Six, “Officers must wear a mask. Everyone booked gets a mask. There is no shortage. Everyone will be shown on COVID-19 to include a symptom check and a temperature check. “
Smith said the women were forced to use a restroom shared by men and women on their processing floor during stru thrush and the need to use the bathroom.
“The amount of insults is insane,” he said. “The bathroom is completely disgusting, like the toilet stool. Stool on the floor. You think there was a pool of water, but it was urine.
Once inside the cell, the “LHNHY” star said there was a toilet used by everyone present, which Smith said was about 40 women at one time.
“They gave us blankets when we checked in,” he said. “We kept the blanket in the cell for women who had to use the bathroom.”
Smith, however, claimed that protesters were told there had been a recent bed bug outbreak, so some were hesitant to even touch the blankets.
“If we touch it, we can probably bring it back to our home,” he said. “I don’t want to risk my kids getting infected because of the inhumane situation that’s going on there right now.”
Smith said the women tried to stay positive by singing to promote each other.
“We take care of each other,” he said. “We are lying on each other’s laps. I started playing a discount. It was a real moment, like, let’s make peace. Let’s create a unified bond that is going to keep everyone calm. “
LMDC assistant director Steve Durham denied Smith’s allegations, claiming that “small groups” of detainees had been moved to “clean accommodation” that was “ready to support the protesters.”
“Protesters are not kept with the general captive population,” he said. “Before entering the residence, the detainee spoke to medical staff, picking up their bed, a sandwich, a juice box and a cup from the bin. The housing unit has a toilet and is submerged and can accommodate up to 30 people.
Durham continued, “Protesters see medical staff taking the temperature, asking multiple treatment questions to detainees and discussing the need for immediate treatment. It takes time. “
Durham further explained how he thought “some people” could not “meet their needs” or “needed cleanliness and improvement in the family time”, but said it was “not uncommon” for 25 to 30 people. Need to share a toilet in a housing unit.
“We clean and sanitize with bleach before occupying the housing unit, but once the space is full it can get dirty from occupants’ use, ”he concluded. “When we hear these comments about cleanliness, healthcare or conditions of incarceration, we look at what demands we have and where we have taken precautions to improve. Turning a concrete and steel housing unit into a comfortable setting will not happen, and like all housing units in prison, we need to work with detainees to help keep their place clean. “
Smith said the protesters were released around 3 a.m. the next day. Until Freedom and its members wait for everyone to be released before they go home.
In protest of Yandi Smith of the Freedom’s Eric Branch / Xavier Barrell
Reality Star reported that he had been charged with two counts of misconduct: improper conduct and obstruction of traffic.
“If you know me, you know my personality, there’s nothing wrong with me,” he said. She said, ‘I am a polite woman, an excellent woman there. I was in my right. ”
Earlier in July, Smith and Williams were also arrested for another protest on behalf of Taylor, so the former VH1 star said he now has to think twice before protesting again.
“I don’t want to be arrested, but I want to continue fighting,” Smith said. “I have a husband that I’m in a partnership with to raise these kids and he’s very anxious and very worried.”
The mother of two, who shares 8-year-old son Omar and 5-year-old daughter Skyler with husband Mendis Harris, fears she may spend time in jail over her arrest.
“Every time I go to a protest procession now, I just have to set the price and figure it out,” he said. “I don’t want to stop my kids from studying, as I literally have a teacher and I have two young kids.”
The entrepreneur wants to make it clear that he was not arrested for “touching” or “gaining popularity”.
“The way we came out and the reason we use our platform is to broaden the voices of everyone in this marginalized population,” he added, “It affected my own family. I’m a victim of this system. “
Yandy Smith and her 8-year-old son Omareyandi Smith
Smith said he had a heartbreaking conversation with his eight-year-old son when he was encouraged to introduce himself to a police officer who was patrolling his local park.
“He said,‘ No mom! He became emotional. Just thinking about it makes me emotional, “he said.” I like, ‘What’s wrong?’ “They beat people and I don’t want to beat them,” he said.
Smith said he told his young son that he would not run into any problems because he had done nothing wrong, but Omar responded, “You said George Floyd did nothing wrong. He was killed and beaten. ”
“I said to myself,‘ Am I talking too much around my kids? ‘Because when I grew up, we admired the police. We went and said, ‘Can I grab your hat? What’s your badge number? ‘Did I reveal them too much?”
The reality star said he told Omare that they never speak infallibly and that not all police officers or politicians are bad.
He concluded, “My dream is to create real laws and policies to protect young boys like him as a teenager.”