In jail phone call, grandmother arrested at Galleria says protes -

In jail phone call, grandmother arrested at Galleria says protests are 'effecting change'

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Karla Frye. Credit: St. Louis County PD Karla Frye. Credit: St. Louis County PD

For the first time, we are hearing from a grandmother who was protesting at the Galleria and was arrested after police gave the order to disperse.

Fifty-seven-year-old Karla Frye was among the people arrested and charged and she’s become a face of the movement. Her 13-year-old grandson was also briefly detained.

Some people have publicly suggested that police used improper force to make the arrests, something the police refute. Though Frye has declined to a formal sit-down interview, we’re now hearing from her in her own words about that day.

In a video, Frye is seen yelling at and touching police as they make another arrest.

Frye’s now charged with third-degree assault on a law enforcement among other charges. Police say she jumped on the back of an officer, as apparently seen in pictures from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In a jail phone call obtained through a public information request by News 4, while talking to a local news reporter, Frye does not mention that.

“I started yelling and the guy grabbed me and somebody else came up behind me and grabbed me. And I was telling them to stop, leave me alone, let me go,” Frye said.

“My grandson started to help me and they grabbed him, so that upset me more, it became a melee,” Frye said.  

Frye says prior to that, she did hear a dispersal order from police.

“I was at the protest and they put out a call for us to disperse and I um, stood there for a minute and I turned, and as I turned to look at the escalators, they started to advance on us,” she said.

In the call from jail, Frye makes it clear that she wasn’t hurt.

“My blood pressure is quite elevated because I have high blood pressure. But I am not hurt. The manhandling hurt, and it was a discomfort more so, but I am not hurt,” she said.

When asked what she wants the public to know, she makes does not reference the actions of law enforcement during the arrests.

“I think the protests are going on are effecting change,” she said.

She expressed hope that the protests have involved people from all different backgrounds.

News 4 reached out to Frye’s attorney and a family member, but have not heard back.

Other protesters arrested Saturday have obtained attorneys.

News 4 will let you know if we hear any more details.

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