Bryant Kemper, a Lynchburg protester, out of jail after originally being denied bond

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Lynchburg protester is now out of jail. Police arrested Bryant Kemper at last Monday’s protest at Miller Park.

He’s facing several charges, including unlawful assembly and two weapons charges.

The judge denied his bond on Friday, but on Monday morning, Lynchburg Public Defender Aaron Boone successfully appealed.

Kemper is now out on a $10,000, paid for by a local bail fund set up for protesters.

“It felt good, because my father is going to be home,” said Kylah Kemper Claytor, Kemper’s oldest daughter. “I can see him and see how he’s doing and get the help he needed, and I mean, he didn’t deserve to be there in the first place, so I’m just glad he’s out.”

Part of the bond agreement includes a 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, unless he obtains employment that requires him to work within those curfew hours.

At his Friday bond hearing, a prosecutor called his actions, “Beyond the pale.”

“I was just shook up about it because I know my father was in a lot of pain,” said Kemper Claytor.

On Friday, he needed a wheelchair. On Monday, he walked into the court room, hunched over and with a limp. The defense says the way police arrested him re-injured his back, which had previously been operated on.

“I was just worried about him not getting the medical attention he needed,” said Kemper Claytor, “so I just really wanted him to get out so that he can get that medical treatment.”

Despite Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison arguing video shows Kemper encouraging the destruction of property, ultimately, Judge Patrick Yeatts said, “The statements are troubling,” but that free speech is a right.

Yeatts also addressed Kemper, saying, “I don’t know the extent of your conduct and the extent of your role.”

Lynchburg Public Defender Aaron Boone praised Yeatts’s decision.

“I thought he did a very good job balancing public safety with Mr. Kemper’s First Amendment rights,” said Boone. “He saw that Mr. Kemper was not a danger to anybody. That was obvious in the courtroom when he was walking in hunched over with a back injury that he had sustained earlier.”

And now, he’s out, which is a relief to his daughter.

“I just really wanted him to get the bond so he could get out and get his back seen so he wouldn’t be in so much pain from them tasing him,” said Kemper Claytor.

The Lynchburg Police Department denied my request to see the body camera footage or any incident reports related to Kemper’s injury. Spokesperson Carrie Dungan said the department is investigating the tasing.

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