The US Justice Department has found Louisville police have engaged in a pattern of violating constitutional rights following an investigation prompted by the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor. The announcement was made Wednesday by Attorney Merrick Garland. A Justice Department report found the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government and Louisville Metro Police Department “engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives people of their rights under the Constitution and federal law.” The report said Louisville police “discriminate against Black people in its enforcement activities,” use excessive force and conduct searches based on invalid warrants. It also said the department violates the rights of people engaged in protected speech, like the street protests in the city in the summer of 2020. “This conduct is unacceptable, it is heartbreaking,” Garland said. US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that a Justice Department probe found that the Louisville/Jefferson County Police Department had a pattern of violating people’s constitutional rights. AFP via Getty Images The sweeping probe announced in April 2021 is known as a “pattern or practice” investigation — examining whether there is a pattern of unconstitutional or unlawful policing inside the department. Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was roused from her bed by police who came through the door using a battering ram after midnight on March 13, 2020. Three officers fired shots after Taylor’s boyfriend, fearing an intruder, shot an officer in the leg. Taylor was struck several times and died at the scene. The probe was launched following the police killing of Breonna Taylor. AP The warrant used to enter her home is now part of a separate federal criminal investigation, and one former Louisville officer has already pleaded guilty to helping falsify information on the warrant. No drugs were found in Taylor’s home. Louisville police have undergone five leadership changes since the Taylor shooting, and new Mayor Craig Greenberg is interviewing candidates for the next chief. The city has settled a number of lawsuits related to the incident, including a $12 million payment to Taylor’s family that ended a wrongful death lawsuit. Since 2020, the city has banned no-knock warrants, started a program that aims to send behavioral health professionals to some 911 calls, expanded community violence prevention efforts and sought to support health and wellness for officers, the report said.
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, SERVES EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY. BREONNA TAYLOR’S FAMILY AND THEIR ATTORNEYS TELL US THAT THEY’RE NOT SURPRISED BY THE DOJ’S FINDINGS. LIKEWISE, ALEXIS MATTHEWS IS LIVE FOR US OUTSIDE THE LAW OFFICE, WHERE THE NEWS CONFERENCE WAS HELD JUST A FEW HOURS AGO. ALEXIS. WELL, VICKY RIGG, TAMIKA PALMER, BREONNA TAYLOR’S MOTHER, CALLING THE 86 PAGE REPORT HARD BREAKING. MEANWHILE, ATTORNEYS SAY THEY’RE ENCOURAGED BY THE FINDINGS. BUT BOTH AGREE THAT IT SHOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN THE DEATH OF TAYLOR TO GET TO THIS POINT. NOW, BREONNA TAYLOR WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY LMPD IN 2020 DURING A RAID OF HER APARTMENT. THAT HAPPENED AS A RESULT OF A NO KNOCK SEARCH WARRANT THAT WAS OBTAINED WITH FALSE INFORMATION. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REPORT HIGHLIGHTED THAT IN OTHER INSTANCES OF UNLAWFUL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT BY LAPD AS IT RELATES TO SEARCH WARRANTS. NOW, PALMER SAYS THE INFORMATION IN THE REPORT SHE KNEW ALL ALONG, AND IT’S UNFORTUNATE THAT IT TOOK A TWO YEAR INVESTIGATION BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO BRING IT TO LIGHT. HEARTBREAK ALL OVER AGAIN BECAUSE I KNEW THAT TO BEGIN WITH. I SAID THAT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. THE ONLY POSITIVE THING THAT COULD COME FROM LOSING HER DAUGHTER IS THAT SHE PREVENTS OTHER PEOPLE FROM THAT SAME FATE. AND I THINK THAT TODAY IS INDICATIVE OF THAT. I THINK WHEN THE OFFICERS THAT HAVE BEEN INDICTED WERE INDICTED, THAT’S INDICATIVE OF THAT. BUT ONLY WHEN WE SEE TRUE CHAIN CHANGE, I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT THIS REPORT SOLIDIFIED WHAT TO MAKE A NEW IS THAT SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO PICK UP THE PHONE TODAY AND CALL BRIANA. NOW, THE ATTORNEYS POINT OUT THAT ALTHOUGH THIS INVESTIGATION WAS FOR LMPD AND METRO GOVERNMENT, THEY SAY IT SHOULD BE A WAKE UP CALL FOR LOUISVILLE’S ENTIRE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO DO BETTER MOVING FORWARD TO ACHIEVE TRUE CHANGE AND REFORM. BUT I’M GOING TO CHALLENGE JUDGES TO LOOK CLOSER AT SEARCH WARRANTS. IF YOU KEEP SEEING THE SAME LANGUAGE OVER AND OVER, YOU HAVE TO DIG MORE. POLICE OFFICERS AREN’T ALLOWED TO GET TO THAT POINT. IF YOU CHALLENGE THEM WHEN THEY COME TO YOU FOR YOUR SIGNATURE, WE’VE BEEN HEARING THIS STUFF FOR YEARS. SO I THINK THE TRUE MEASURE OF WHERE WE’RE GOING TO GO AS A CITY AND THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POLICE IS WHERE WE STAND OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS AND WHAT IS GOING TO BE DONE TO FIX IT. NOW, MONDAY MARKS THREE YEARS SINCE TAYLOR’S DEATH, AND AT TODAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE, THE ROOM WAS FULL OF HER SUPPORTERS, INCLUDING LOVED ONES AND THOSE WHO PROTESTED FOR HER JUSTICE. NOW, THIS REPORT COMES NEARLY SEVEN MONTHS AFTER LAPD OFFICERS WERE FEDERALLY CHARGED IN CONNECTION TO THAT DEADLY RAID. LIVE FOR YOU IN LOUISVILLE
A report released by the Justice Department shows how an anti-crime unit created by Louisville Metro Police Department in 2012 that became known for its "aggressive tactics" later rebranded in the face of intense community scrutiny. But the unit continued engaging in unlawful policing activities under its new banner, according to the report, underscoring how the department for years avoided implementing meaningful reforms."The Violent Incident Prevention, Enforcement and Response (VIPER) Unit focused its enforcement on 'hot spots' of violent crime, including by stopping people in certain neighborhoods for minor traffic infractions and other low-level offenses," the report said.Residents "called VIPER officers 'jump out boys' for their aggressive tactics, and protesters demonstrated in front of police headquarters to demand an end to the unit," the report added.The department rebranded VIPER as the Ninth Mobile Division in 2015, according to the report, and pulled most of its members from VIPER.The result, according to the Justice Department, was that the new unit committed similar abuses to the ones that happened under the VIPER banner."Despite VIPER's failures, LMPD leaders again failed to monitor Ninth Mobile. Neither Chief (Steve) Conrad nor Ninth Mobile's leader analyzed enforcement activities for signs of discrimination. Federal and state courts found that Ninth Mobile officers violated residents' Fourth Amendment rights, and we reviewed incidents in which Ninth Mobile and other patrol officers engaged in unlawful street enforcement activities," the report said in part.Similar units have come under fire in recent months, including one in Memphis, Tennessee, after five of its members were charged in connection with the January death of Tyre Nichols, whose brutal beating after a police traffic stop was seen on video. The five officers pleaded not guilty last month.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The worst Louisville men's basketball season ever is over. Year 1 of the Kenny Payne era ended with a program-record 28th loss — the Cardinals' 19th by double digits — to No. 10-seeded Boston College in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday evening at Greensboro Coliseum. Payne has asked for patience at every step thus far on his quest to restore his alma mater to national prominence. His manta has been, "Win or learn," rather than win or lose. So, when he addressed his players in the locker room after their season came to an end, he said he told the guys he "couldn't care less" about the record that will forever be attached to their legacies at a program he holds so dear. "I'm in charge of making sure that these young men are loved," Payne said. "... Now, I have to take the next few days and gather my thoughts and see, 'How do I do this in a way that I bring back Louisville to where it needs to be?'"ACC Tournament:Here's the bracket and how to watch every game in GreensboroNo. 15-seeded U of L (4-28, 2-19 ACC) clawed its way back from a 10-point deficit to lead 34-31 at halftime. The game was tied at 45 apiece with 15:30 to play in regulation, but the Eagles (16-16, 10-11) outscored the Cardinals 35-17 the rest of the way en route to an 80-62 victory. "They were the aggressor for most of the second half," Payne said. "They put us on our heels and made us look bad, because they played with more fire, more toughness, more fight than we did."Louisville athletics director Josh Heird said in January, when the team was 2-16 and winless in ACC play, that he will support Payne in his rebuilding efforts 110% "until he does something that says, 'Hey, I don't think he should be our basketball coach.'""He hasn't done one thing that has shown me that he shouldn't be our basketball coach," Heird said at the time. "Now, does that mean that any of us are satisfied with two wins? Absolutely not. Like I said, it is extremely frustrating. And I can assure you, it's frustrating. I know it's frustrating to Kenny. It's frustrating to staff, and it's frustrating to our student-athletes."When asked after the season-ending loss if he's had any conversations with Heird during the stretch run of the year about his and the program's future, the head coach said he hadn't. "I don't know if there's a reason to have a conversation with Josh Heird about my future," Payne said. "I go to work every day. I love Josh. Josh says he loves me. There's nothing to talk about. I've got a job to do."El Ellis:Louisville basketball star wants to leave 'as a winner.' Here's how losses shaped him'I don't know what the future holds'Payne's job may soon get busier with the arrival of the offseason. On March 13, players can begin entering their names into the NCAA transfer portal. Some will likely be leaving Louisville after postseason debriefs with the coach. "However that goes, I'm ready," said JJ Traynor, a junior forward from Bardstown, Kentucky, with two years of eligibility remaining, whose father played at U of L from 1993-95. After adding just two players — sophomore forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and walk-on guard Hercy Miller — and missing out on several others through the portal heading into Year 1, Payne needs to make a splash when it reopens. He described the qualities he's looking for in potential acquisitions just days before the ACC Tournament. "This is why teams try and get older players out of the portal and elsewhere," Payne said after a loss to Virginia in the regular-season finale. "So that you have guys who can fight, guys who understand fighting and playing together and mental toughness."The player on Payne's inaugural roster with the biggest decision to make, however, has said he isn't considering the transfer portal. That would be El Ellis, who in what could have been his last game donning a Louisville uniform tied Boston College's Makai Ashton-Langford with a game-high 16 points despite a 17-minute scoreless stretch to start the first half. When Payne took Ellis out of the game with 34 seconds to play, the Durham, North Carolina, native yanked off his headband, pulled his jersey up toward his eyes and with his head hung low walked away from the court toward one of the tunnels inside Greensboro Coliseum before returning to congratulate the Eagles on their win."I don't know what the future holds right now," said Ellis, who plans to test the professional waters before deciding whether or not to use an extra year of eligibility, granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for a final season at U of L. "I feel like I gave everything this season, and things just didn't go as planned."Louisville basketball recruiting:These players have signed to the Cardinals' 2023 class'What is there to evaluate?'Payne was also asked after the loss about his plans for evaluating his staff's performance in Year 1, which ended with the Cardinals sitting at 292nd out of 363 Division I teams on statistician Ken Pomeroy's efficiency rankings. His response: "What is there to evaluate?""I have one of the best staffs in college basketball," Payne said. "I can tell you that they're unique individuals that have had so much success in this game. I can't believe you just asked that question, because you're looking at guys who have accomplished more in their life as players — forget coaching. Their experience in life is why I hired them. They are great coaches, and they gave these kids love every day."I asked them to love the young men. That's why I hired them," he added. "To adopt their dreams, that's why I hired them. Nothing else. They did their jobs. They did a great job. I love my staff."Road to recovery:Louisville's Mike James spent year getting basketball ready. Here's what fueled his returnThe players have said they've felt the love. Ellis specifically credited the staff with helping him reach "a different spirit, a different energy" while shouldering a heavy burden as the team's floor general. Both Traynor and redshirt freshman Mike James showed signs of growth as the season of, "Win or learn" unfolded. "The only people you really got are the people in this locker room," Traynor said. "Everybody was talking about us this year and the season we had, but (I know) moving forward that we're really a family, and we're really all we got."There remains, however, a lot to learn. "Every second, every minute matters — in practice, in film, weights — everything matters," James said when asked for his biggest takeaway from the year. "Every second on the court matters; every possession on the court matters. "Everything matters in college basketball. I just hope that we learn from that and we get better."Reach Louisville men's basketball reporter Brooks Holton at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @brooksHolton.
Gaia Inc.’s headquarters in Louisville. Christopher Wood/BizWest LOUISVILLE — When the world shut down in the early portion of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming video providers such as Louisville’s Gaia Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA) were major beneficiaries. [...]
In his pitch to Phoenix City Council District 6 voters for the March 14 runoff election, political newcomer Kevin Robinson plays up a) his longtime experience in law enforcement and b) that he’s a centrist who can bridge differences.The latter remains to be seen. There’s little history to assess his political leanings or beliefs.Robinson’s sometimes tentative and perfunctory answers in debates – “I can promise that voters will always get a call back from me” – reflect that lack of knowledge of city hall inner workings.What does give him a leg up against Sam Stone, a former chief of staff for term-limited City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, is his insight on police issues. Some of those issues are front and center for the Phoenix City Council and may just propel Robinson into office.Robinson is actually a police reformerCritics dismiss Robinson as a status quo or “pro-police” candidate – a similar descriptor is assigned to attorney Kesha Hodge Washington, who’s challenging incumbent Carlos Garcia, a community activist, in the District 8 runoff – because he’s backed by law enforcement groups.But that’s selling him short.In the law-enforcement arena, Robinson is really a centrist – perhaps even progressive – reformer. A couple of instances highlight his work for change.More from Kwok:Could Sam Stone beat the odds and win?Robinson was part of a task force commissioned by the Arizona Supreme Court to reevaluate unannounced search warrants, or so-called “no-knock” warrants, following the 2020 police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., during a forced entry drug investigation.The task force recommended changes to the process, including a list of factors that a magistrate should weigh before granting “no-knock” and nighttime search warrants. That includes the presence of weapons or hostages or known violence from occupants at the location.The task force also recommended that a police supervisor’s approval of the search warrant be taken into consideration by the magistrate.Presiding judges and the Arizona Judicial Council, which have the authority to fashion the rules, went further and made the supervisor approval a requirement – which Robinson favored and said was a best practice during the time he oversaw the SWAT unit.He supported Phoenix's civilian review boardThe second occurred in spring 2020 when the mayor and council first tackled the idea of a civilian review board on police misconduct. Robinson backed Carlos Garcia’s proposal that, on a narrow 5-4 vote, created a civilian office with investigative powers.At the time, he called it a needed response to lost public confidence in law enforcement and said that police should welcome citizen oversight, not fear it.'180 degrees different':Robinson, Stone square off in debateThe Legislature has since enacted a law that prevents a civilian-led entity from investigating police misconduct. Phoenix's Office of Accountability and Transparency has, as a result, been relegated largely to a role of keeping watch on internal police investigations.Nevertheless, Robinson maintains that police officers “should not be afraid of accountability” from citizen oversight.By comparison, Stone derides the civilian office as “a jobs program for people who have made a living protesting cops” and bristles at the notion that the system for investigating and punishing bad police behavior needs reform.His public safety experience gives him an edgeThe issue of law enforcement looms large in Phoenix not just because of perennial concerns over crime and police staffing but also because of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into Phoenix Police over claims of civil rights violation, including excessive use of force and discrimination.Phoenix Police are expected to initiate some reforms on their own even before the DOJ probe finishes, as it has begun to do with a proposed update to their Use of Force policy.Robinson could influence changes there, having chaired Phoenix Police’s disciplinary review board for more than a decade and headed the department’s use of force board for three years.He serves on AZPOST, which investigates law enforcement misconduct and disciplines officers, up to revocation of the officer's certification.Robinson stands to be a strong ally of the mayor to guide the city in the aftermath of the DOJ investigation.He also could act as a foil to police critic Carlos Garcia should Garcia win reelection. Who knows, the two might even find common ground to strike a compromise.On myriad issues, Stone’s experience as Sal DiCiccio’s right-hand person trumps Robinson. On public safety, Robinson has a clear edge.Reach Abe Kwok at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @abekwok.
THIS SATURDAY AT the Blaffer Museum, Houston award-winning, queer contemporary choreographer and community leader Rivkah French presents Twisting Through Secrets, a cross-disciplinary, multimedia extravaganza featuring a variety of dance, drag, spoken word, and ukulele-playing performers. Twisting Through Secrets takes its inspiration from two current Blaffer exhibits: Dallas-based painter Leslie Martinez’s new painting series The Secrecy of Water and video artist Jacolby Statterwhite’s 3D animated epic We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other. Beginning at 7pm, the Blaffer space will be activated by live music and dance theater from Angie Uhegwu (a.k.a. S.O.U.L.A.S.P.H.E.R.E); neo-futurist dance by French with Margo Smolik; spoken-word poetry by Ayokunle Falomo; contemporary movement combined with martial arts, and breaking by Persi Mey and guests; and what is described as “a sickening blend of drag glamour, drama, and camp” by bearded beauty and OutSmart magazine fave drag emcee Blackberri. Martinez’s large-scale, tactile paintings, which incorporate rocks, scraps, and recycled materials, speak to the artist’s trans, non-binary identity, as well as their childhood experiences traveling from the Rio Grande Valley of the South Texas-Mexico border to Dallas, and crossing one of most dangerous Customs and Border Patrol checkpoints in the United States. Satterwhite’s video transforms the artist’s dance movements — evoking ballroom culture and vogueing — through digital bodysuits into animated Black fembot forms and other avatars and concludes with a tribute by a cadre of fierce femme warriors to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old ER technician murdered by Louisville Police in March 2020. Preceding the Twisting Through Secrets performance are two community workshops. At 5pm, French leads a 30-minute meditation on the Blaffer exhibitions and performance themes. At 5:30, Mey leads a beginner-friendly, open-to-all “Weightshare Workshop” that will explore how to move (i.e. dance) as a group through queer-positive, non-gender specific partnering. Participants will learn how partnered dancers safely give and receive weight while remaining connected in performance. Visual artists are invited to bring drawing and painting supplies to either or both workshops and join in the creativity. From Your Site ArticlesRelated Articles Around the Web
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local nonprofit is encouraging Louisville restaurant customers to share a meal.Feed Louisville is hosting a fundraiser in celebration of its third birthday.The nonprofit is asking for a donation of $3.25 so it can cook and deliver hot meals for the homeless. Feed Louisville has distributed these cards to restaurants across Louisville encouraging donations to expand its outreach. (Feed Louisville photo) While all donations are accepted, Feed Louisville is encouraging people to give more where they can. A $10 donation will provide three hot meals, a $30 donation will feed a houseless person for a week, and $100 will provide a month's worth of food for one person, the organization said.More than a dozen restaurants are coming together to support the mission by accepting donations. Below is a full list of participating restaurants, provided by Feed Louisville:Bandido’s - University of Louisville: 423 University BoulevardBandido’s - Westport: 2901 Goose Creek RoadBlue Dog Bakery: 2868 Frankfort AvenueButchertown Grocery Bakery: 743 East Main StreetFord Employee Café: 11200 Westport RoadGeorgia’s Sweet Potato Pie Company: 1559 Bardstown RoadHammerheads: 921 Swan StreetLogan Street Market: 1001 Logan StreetMayan Café: 813 East Market StreetRamsi’s Café on the World: 1293 Bardstown RoadWest Sixth Brewery: 817 East Market StreetWiltshire Pantry Bakery & Café: 901 Barret AvenueWiltshire Pantry Bakery & Café: 605 West Main StreetFeed Louisville was founded by local Chef Rhona Kamar and outreach worker Donny Greene at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago with the goal of "meeting the daily basic human needs of Louisville's houseless community while working to remove the barriers to permanent housing." The nonprofit has a "street outreach team" that takes hot food, water and supplies directly to those living in encampments and on the streets.Since its inception, Feed Louisville has prepared more than 300,000 meals for those in need. Right now, its team of chefs make and distribute up to 800 meals daily. In the last three years it has also helped more than 60 people move into more permanent housing.For more information about the nonprofit, volunteering or donating, click here.Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.
The series is open for members of the public and VCU community to explore VCU Health’s history and efforts to make healthcare more equitable. March 06, 2023 By Jayla ParkerVirginia Commonwealth University’s Office of Health Equity is excited to launch the History and Health; Racial Equity Series. This education module gives the VCU and VCU Health community opportunities for in-depth engagement and dialogue about our institutional history, reflection of how that history has influenced and shaped us and examination of the resulting impact on current health disparities.“As an academic health center that cares for a large constituency of Black and Brown patients, we have a unique responsibility to address legacies of bias and discriminatory practices, ” said Logan Vetrovec, director of education and research in the Office of Health Equity. What inspired VCU and VCU Health to create this series? The Office of Health Equity at VCU, started in 2021, aims to develop initiatives that introduce the principles of health equity into education, training, research and patient services.The creation of the History and Health; Racial Equity Series was essentially inspired by the protests against racism and police brutality towards African Americans in summer of 2020, following the murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.Slavery, segregation and race-based discrimination are topics often excluded from lessons taught on the history of medicine and healthcare, but the VCU Office of Health Equity recognizes how ignoring these parts of the past is a disservice to our future progress as a community. The purpose of this uncommon educational program Increasing awareness, supporting conversations that some may find “uncomfortable” and providing a safe space for everyone to be heard are all motives behind creating this series.The Office of Health Equity describes this program as an intentional approach to address substantial knowledge gaps in understanding the academic health center’s history and to facilitate an effective interface between diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and the burgeoning engagement of VCU’s past.“The series content was created by faculty and team members across the university and health system, drawing on the wealth of existing knowledge and expertise of partners at VCU Libraries, the East Marshall Street Well Project, the Humanities Research Center and others,” said Anne Massey, director of patient and community services in the Office of Health Equity. The History and Health; Racial Equity series has 11 topics with event recordings and learning modules: Fundamentals of Race & Racism Race, Space & Power in Richmond Virginia Medical Research and the First Heart Transplant in the South Coughing and Scoffing: Inequities in the Time of COVID-19 Assessing Structural Racism by Understanding St. Philip Hospital and School of Nursing Medical Dissection and the East Marshall Street Well Housing, History, and Health Structural Racism and the Food Environment The Roots of Institutional Racism: Medical College of Virginia Medical Racism Then & Now: When You Know Better, You Do Better - Racial Equity Symposium Mothers of Gynecology - Racial Equity Symposium This program gives all VCU and VCU Health employees as well as students and community members the opportunity to earn a History and Health; Racial Equity digital badge for participating. In addition, participants can satisfy annual VCU Health System DEI learning requirements and receive VCU Health continuing education credit by completing online learning modules.All of these free materials are available online at the VCU Office of Health Equity website.
On Friday, Kentucky police showed a video from an officer’s body camera that showed a Louisville Metropolitan Police officer shooting at two teens during a trespassing call. Officer Brendan Kaiser can be seen with his [...]