Adrian Silbernagel – Louisville Magazine

By |2022-05-25T00:44:08-04:00May 24th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

Since March 2020, what’s something you’ve lost? “My cigarette habit.” Since March 2020, what’s something you’ve gained? “A new sense of direction in my writing and advocacy work. I’ve also been working with a trainer, so I’ve gained some muscle.” Since March 2020, what’s something Louisville has lost? “Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Travis Nagdy, Tyler Gerth.” Since March 2020, what’s something Louisville has gained? “A critical lens to view our existing systems and leaders. A higher standard for change, transparency and accountability. A louder collective voice.” Here’s a magic wand. Wave it and you can change one thing in your neighborhood. What do you change? “A rent cap.” What Louisville dish have you eaten more than any other? “Saag paneer from Kashmir.” Where are you a regular? “Sunshine Grocery on Oak Street is a neighborhood staple for milk, eggs, cereal, rice, toilet paper and even ice cream sometimes.” What closed Louisville business do you miss most? “Highland Coffee and Morels were both diverse and inclusive staples in the Highlands. Also, I have yet to find a vegan fast-food option that can compete with Morels.” What should be Louisville’s theme song? “Gil Scott-Heron, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.’” What’s one thing Louisville is missing? “A 24-hour coffee shop.” What does Louisville have that it should be known for but isn’t? “Our huge trans community.” In one word, what’s your biggest fear for Louisville? “That people will grow tired of pushing for change and that the status quo will prevail.” In one sentence, how do you spend your weekdays? “Serving coffee, facilitating trans-inclusivity workshops, writing poetry and editing for Queer Kentucky.” Earliest childhood memory? “Almost drowning in a ditch in front of my childhood home after breaking through the ice.” Which possession of yours do you consider priceless? “Old writing notebooks.” Who or what should be on a future cover of Louisville Magazine? “Queer Kentucky. Queer Kentucky is a diverse LGBTQ+-run nonprofit based in Louisville, working to bolster and enhance Queer culture and health though storytelling, education and action. We also partner with organizations that help educate LGBTQ+ folx on safe sex and healthy lifestyles, with a large focus on creating Queer sober spaces. Queer Kentucky actively works with organizations and businesses on their inclusivity efforts, through our workshops and consultation services.”

US Senate candidate Charles Booker's memoir has been released. Here are some highlights

By |2022-04-27T10:39:24-04:00April 27th, 2022|David McAtee, Election 2020|

U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker's memoir, "From the Hood to the Holler," hit bookstores Tuesday, detailing his experiences growing up in Louisville, his early days in politics and the 2020 bid he lost for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's seat.  Booker is in the middle of a bid to challenge Sen. Rand Paul this year, with the May 17 Democratic primary for that election just three weeks away. Here are three highlights from his book, released by Crown Publishing, an imprint of the publishing giant Penguin Random House:He thought about contesting Amy McGrath's 2020 primary victoryThe 2020 election in Kentucky was unlike any other, thanks to COVID-19. Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear worked together on a pandemic plan that included widespread mail-in voting for the first time in state history, among other changes.When the primary election results were released a week after Election Day, they showed Booker lost to frontrunner and fellow Democrat Amy McGrath by about 15,000 votes, or 2.8%. And at first, Booker didn't want to concede, according to his memoir."There had been so much confusion with the mail-in ballots, and we'd learned that votes were being discarded in some counties for not having proper signatures," Booker wrote. "We were hearing stories from people about thousands of votes being improperly thrown out, but we didn't have any hard facts to prove it, and we certainly didn't have anything to indicate that the irregularities were enough to overcome the 15,000-vote margin."Still, so many people were begging me to challenge the results and keep fighting." More politics:Handpicked? Too little support? Behind-the-scenes look at Attica Scott vs. Morgan McGarvey for CongressHe said he told a member of his campaign: "I'm not a quitter. If votes were thrown out, we should fight for them. That's the point of all of this!"However, the staffer told him there wasn't a path to defeat McGrath, and contesting the primary results could hurt his relationship with the Democratic Party and hurt McGrath as the party's nominee to challenge McConnell that November."I fussed a bit more, but eventually I relented and accepted that I would not be the Democratic nominee," Booker wrote in his memoir. That fall, McConnell walloped McGrath with a double-digit reelection victory.He intervened amid rising tensions after law enforcement killed David McAteeBooker's 2020 Senate bid rocketed into the spotlight when he joined Louisville's racial justice protests in the summer of 2020, mere weeks before the June primary election. His memoir reflects on that summer, including the death of David McAtee, who ran a popular barbecue shop in the West End and whom law enforcement shot and killed overnight in June 2020.Booker describes going out to join mourning residents the next morning and the growing tension he saw between the crowd and law enforcement officers on the scene. "I immediately called Governor Beshear to tell him that the residents were terrified and that the National Guard presence was only making things worse," he wrote. "'If you want to keep people safe,' I said, 'please call them off.'"David McAtee:Louisville officer fired for policy violations related to fatal David McAtee shootingBooker also said he spoke with law enforcement and called Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer after an officer told him they couldn't put their weapons down without his say-so."Mayor, we have a problem on our hands that will get worse any minute without your help,'" Booker recalled telling Fischer. "'These officers are standing in a combative posture with the community, and it's antagonizing them. I've asked the officers to put their weapons down ... I need you to give the order.'He came up with his 'Hood to the Holler' slogan on a road trip in Eastern KentuckyBooker drove east in early 2020 to meet with voters and demonstrate that the grassroots coalition he hoped to build across geographic, racial and other demographics in Kentucky was possible.  "Other than the beautiful hills around us, it all felt familiar," he wrote of the drive to Whitesburg. "These were the same houses I'd grown up with in the West End. I even saw one house with the same plastic lawn chairs my mom had in our backyard." Booker said his campaign manager, Colin Lauderdale, told him: "Folks in the hollers get counted out, but there's a lot of hardworking people around here, people who'll take care of one another, even if they don't have a lot.""That sounds like the hood!" Booker responded. "...The folks in these hollers are just as much my family as those I live with in the West End. That's why I am fighting, man. We are going to bring change for all of us, from the hood to the holler." Rand Paul:Senator's comments on Russian invasion criticized as echoing Putin's point on Ukraine"As I said it, we looked at one another and sat quietly," Booker wrote. "I could tell he felt the same reverence that I did. We were on the verge of something powerful.""That's it, man!" Booker recalled saying. "From the hood to the holler. That's going to be our rallying cry." It didn't just become Booker's campaign slogan. He also named the nonprofit he formed after losing the 2020 primary "Hood to the Holler" and used the phrase again as the title for his memoir.Morgan Watkins is The Courier Journal's chief political reporter. Contact her at mwatkins@courierjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter: @morganwatkins26.

US Senate candidate Charles Booker's memoir has been released. Here are some highlights

By |2022-04-27T06:43:47-04:00April 27th, 2022|David McAtee, Election 2020|

U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker's memoir, "From the Hood to the Holler," hit bookstores Tuesday, detailing his experiences growing up in Louisville, his early days in politics and the 2020 bid he lost for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's seat.  Booker is in the middle of a bid to challenge Sen. Rand Paul this year, with the May 17 Democratic primary for that election just three weeks away. Here are three highlights from his book, released by Crown Publishing, an imprint of the publishing giant Penguin Random House:He thought about contesting Amy McGrath's 2020 primary victoryThe 2020 election in Kentucky was unlike any other, thanks to COVID-19. Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear worked together on a pandemic plan that included widespread mail-in voting for the first time in state history, among other changes.When the primary election results were released a week after Election Day, they showed Booker lost to frontrunner and fellow Democrat Amy McGrath by about 15,000 votes, or 2.8%. And at first, Booker didn't want to concede, according to his memoir."There had been so much confusion with the mail-in ballots, and we'd learned that votes were being discarded in some counties for not having proper signatures," Booker wrote. "We were hearing stories from people about thousands of votes being improperly thrown out, but we didn't have any hard facts to prove it, and we certainly didn't have anything to indicate that the irregularities were enough to overcome the 15,000-vote margin."Still, so many people were begging me to challenge the results and keep fighting." More politics:Handpicked? Too little support? Behind-the-scenes look at Attica Scott vs. Morgan McGarvey for CongressHe said he told a member of his campaign: "I'm not a quitter. If votes were thrown out, we should fight for them. That's the point of all of this!"However, the staffer told him there wasn't a path to defeat McGrath, and contesting the primary results could hurt his relationship with the Democratic Party and hurt McGrath as the party's nominee to challenge McConnell that November."I fussed a bit more, but eventually I relented and accepted that I would not be the Democratic nominee," Booker wrote in his memoir. That fall, McConnell walloped McGrath with a double-digit reelection victory.He intervened amid rising tensions after law enforcement killed David McAteeBooker's 2020 Senate bid rocketed into the spotlight when he joined Louisville's racial justice protests in the summer of 2020, mere weeks before the June primary election. His memoir reflects on that summer, including the death of David McAtee, who ran a popular barbecue shop in the West End and whom law enforcement shot and killed overnight in June 2020.Booker describes going out to join mourning residents the next morning and the growing tension he saw between the crowd and law enforcement officers on the scene. "I immediately called Governor Beshear to tell him that the residents were terrified and that the National Guard presence was only making things worse," he wrote. "'If you want to keep people safe,' I said, 'please call them off.'"David McAtee:Louisville officer fired for policy violations related to fatal David McAtee shootingBooker also said he spoke with law enforcement and called Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer after an officer told him they couldn't put their weapons down without his say-so."Mayor, we have a problem on our hands that will get worse any minute without your help,'" Booker recalled telling Fischer. "'These officers are standing in a combative posture with the community, and it's antagonizing them. I've asked the officers to put their weapons down ... I need you to give the order.'He came up with his 'Hood to the Holler' slogan on a road trip in Eastern KentuckyBooker drove east in early 2020 to meet with voters and demonstrate that the grassroots coalition he hoped to build across geographic, racial and other demographics in Kentucky was possible.  "Other than the beautiful hills around us, it all felt familiar," he wrote of the drive to Whitesburg. "These were the same houses I'd grown up with in the West End. I even saw one house with the same plastic lawn chairs my mom had in our backyard." Booker said his campaign manager, Colin Lauderdale, told him: "Folks in the hollers get counted out, but there's a lot of hardworking people around here, people who'll take care of one another, even if they don't have a lot.""That sounds like the hood!" Booker responded. "...The folks in these hollers are just as much my family as those I live with in the West End. That's why I am fighting, man. We are going to bring change for all of us, from the hood to the holler." Rand Paul:Senator's comments on Russian invasion criticized as echoing Putin's point on Ukraine"As I said it, we looked at one another and sat quietly," Booker wrote. "I could tell he felt the same reverence that I did. We were on the verge of something powerful.""That's it, man!" Booker recalled saying. "From the hood to the holler. That's going to be our rallying cry." It didn't just become Booker's campaign slogan. He also named the nonprofit he formed after losing the 2020 primary "Hood to the Holler" and used the phrase again as the title for his memoir.Morgan Watkins is The Courier Journal's chief political reporter. Contact her at mwatkins@courierjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter: @morganwatkins26.

No Internal Investigation Nearly 2 Years After Louisville Police Officer Shot Pepper Balls At Reporter

By |2022-04-21T14:31:15-04:00April 21st, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

On May 29, 2020, Louisville was experiencing its second night of mass protests over the police killing of Breonna Taylor when a Louisville Metro Police Department officer fired pepper balls at a WAVE 3 news crew as they were live on air.  The dramatic footage of the incident — which clearly showed a riot gear-clad officer approach the journalists, aim his weapon and open fire — quickly went viral online. The episode was held up alongside the arrest of a CNN reporter live on air in Minneapolis that morning as a cut and dry example of police openly violating the basic tenets of press freedom as unrest spread across the United States. This just happened on live tv. Wow, what a douche bag. pic.twitter.com/dQKheEcCvb — Christopher Bishop (@ChrisBishopL1C4) May 30, 2020 LMPD immediately said that the incident would be investigated and that any disciplinary action deemed necessary would be taken. That night, an LMPD spokesperson apologized for the incident and said that the video appeared to show members of the media being “singled out.” Asked about the incident in a Metro Council committee meeting later in the year, LMPD’s then chief said it was under investigation for policy violations. But nearly two years after WAVE 3 News reporter Kaitlin Rust and cameraman James Dobson were struck by pepper balls, LMPD has informed LEO Weekly that it has yet to begin its internal investigation for potential breaches of policy. Such an investigation, carried out by the department’s Professional Standards Unit, is necessary before any disciplinary policy violation charges can be brought against the officer by the LMPD.  Instead, LMPD told LEO that the department is waiting for the Federal Bureau of Investigations to wrap up its own investigation of the incident, which could potentially lead to federal charges and prison time for Dusten Dean, the officer who fired the pepper balls. In the interim, Dean remains employed by LMPD on administrative reassignment.  “The investigation has not yet begun as PSU is waiting for the FBI to conclude its investigation and provide PSU with any files that PSU can use for its investigation,” read part of a response to an open records request that the mayor’s office attributed to Sgt. Anthony Wilder, a member of LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, which is tasked with conducting criminal investigations of department members. Peter Kraska, a criminology professor at Eastern Kentucky University, said the delay is troubling. “From what I saw in the video, it’s hard to imagine any legitimate reason for this long of a delay in investigating this,” he said. “Regardless of if there are legitimate reasons, possibly, the appearance of foot dragging and lack of accountability is inevitable with these kinds of delays. And I think sometimes — and I’m not sure it’s the case in this situation — but sometimes it’s a matter of the longer you wait it out, the less people are going to care.” At times, when LMPD officers have been under both FBI and internal investigations, LMPD appears to have conducted parallel investigations. In the case of some of the officers involved in the March 2020 raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment, for example, disciplinary action was taken as the result of internal investigations even as federal investigations into Taylor’s death continued. In response a list of questions sent by LEO — including questions about why this case was handled differently — an LMPD spokesperson issued a brief statement saying: “Determinations on the course of investigations related to employees are made on a case by case basis. Officer Dusten Dean remains on administrative reassignment.” The two former WAVE 3 employees who were hit say they were never contacted by LMPD to give a statement about the incident. “I would have assumed that the PSU investigation would have been complete by now,” said Rust, who was live on the air with anchors in the newsroom as she and Dobson, the camera operator, came under attack. “I don’t see how a federal investigation into civil rights violations would prevent them from doing that because this is a policy violation that there is video of the incident. I don’t see what they would need from a federal agency what they wouldn’t be able to tell themselves through looking at the video and talking to all the parties involved.” While they were never contacted by LMPD, Dobson said the pair did an interview with the FBI on June 8, 2020, a little more than a week after the incident. In video footage from the incident, Dean can be seen walking away from a line of police officers and heading towards the journalists with his pepper ball gun raised before opening fire. “I’m getting shot!” exclaimed Rust. At one point, Dean pauses and appears to make adjustments to his weapon before again taking aim and firing more. Of officers that can be seen in the video, Dean is the only one who appears to be reacting to the presence of the news crew. “I am disappointed that they’re not looking into it, but I’m not surprised either,” said Dobson, who kept his camera trained on Dean while under fire and was hit several times. “I think that it was terrible what happened, but any reporter on the ground saw a number of violations to protesters every night.” Dobson, who said he was wearing a protective Kevlar vest that night, said one of the pepper balls struck him in the collar bone, severing nerves leading to his left arm. As a result, he said, he lost feeling in his fingertips and had tingling and a loss of sensation in that arm for months. Rust, who said she was hit once, said it felt like time was moving in slow motion as she watched Dobson get hit. “Repeatedly, I just watched the pepper balls explode up his legs, up his torso, his chest and eventually ending right in the camera lens by his eye. He got hit multiple times,” she said.

The Patrick Lyoya shooting reopens debate about how police interact with Black people. Here are other high-profile cases

By |2022-04-16T10:22:47-04:00April 16th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

The shooting of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Michigan, earlier this month is the latest high-profile police shooting under scrutiny. On Wednesday, Grand Rapids police released several video clips, which show Lyoya's entire encounter with a police officer after a traffic stop, including the moment the officer fatally shot the 26-year-old Black man.Several hundred people protested after the video was released, with many chanting, "Justice for Patrick." Lyoya's parents, Dorcas and Peter, and his brother Thomas wept at a news conference Thursday calling for the prosecution of the officer involved in the incident and demanding justice. While details of the case -- and the expected fallout -- are still unfolding, Lyoya's death not only puts the attention back on how a traffic stop can become fatal but reopens years-long frustration with how police interact with Black people. Killings at the hands of law enforcement continue to leave families devastated and social justice advocates calling for reform and policy changes. On Tuesday, three former Minneapolis police officers rejected a plea deal from prosecutors as they await trial for charges in George Floyd's death. And last week, prosecutors declined to file charges against the Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Amir Locke or any other officers involved in the no-knock warrant service that led to the 22-year-old Black man's death in early February. Although Minnesota juries found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in Floyd's death and Kim Potter guilty of manslaughter for shooting Daunte Wright, experts note how rare it is that police officers involved in high-profile, and sometimes deadly, on-duty incidents ever face criminal charges or are convicted."It's rare because the juries are very reluctant to second guess and judge the actions of on-duty police officers in violent street encounters," Philip Matthew Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University, told CNN previously.Here is a look at some of the most recent high-profile and controversial police shootings and the outcomes: Patrick Lyoya, 26When: April 4, 2022Where: Grand Rapids, MichiganWhat happened: The incident began just after 8 a.m. ET on April 4 when police say they pulled over a vehicle for improper registration. The driver, now known to be Lyoya, got out of the vehicle and at some point, ran, Grand Rapids Police said. Body camera footage showed the officer chasing and tackling Lyoya, resulting in a minutes-long struggle.The officer attempted to tase Lyoya at least twice, according to the police chief, but failed to make contact as Lyoya put his hands on the Taser. At that point, the officer's body camera was accidentally deactivated but cell phone video shows the fatal shot to the head, which can also be heard in video from a home surveillance camera. What's next: Michigan State Police said once the investigation is completed, the evidence will be turned over to the county prosecutor who will decide on charges. The officer's name will be released if charges are filed.Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Becker asked for patience from the public. "While the videos released today are an important piece of evidence, they are not all the evidence... By law, we are required to review all available evidence before we consider whether charges should be filed, and if so, what appropriate charges should be," he said in a statement Wednesday. A death certificate with the cause and manner of Lyoya's death has been prepared but will not be completed until the toxicology and tissue test results have been received from a contracted laboratory, Kent County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen D. Cohle said in a Wednesday statement, adding his office has requested the results be expedited. Amir Locke, 22When: February 2, 2022 Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota What happened: Minneapolis police were executing a no-knock search warrant linked to a homicide investigation in neighboring St. Paul, when a SWAT officer shot and killed Locke, who appeared to be asleep on a couch when officers came in. Locke wasn't named in the warrant; Locke's cousin was. City officials didn't release a lot of information in the days after an officer shot Locke, other than 14 seconds of video that they said showed Locke with the gun. The video shows officers using a key to open the apartment's door as officers shout, "Police! Search warrant!" Other officers yelled, "Hands! Hands! Hands!" and "Get on the f****ng ground!" as they approach Locke, who was sleeping on the couch and wrapped in blankets. One officer kicks the back of the couch, waking up Locke. He begins to sit up with his gun in his hand as three shots in the home can be heard by officers. The outcomes: Mark Hanneman -- the Minneapolis SWAT officer responsible for the fatal shot -- was placed on administrative leave but returned to active duty on February 28. Last week, CNN reported prosecutors will not file any charges against Hanneman and any of the other officers involved in the shooting due to insufficient admissible evidence. Following Locke's death, the Minneapolis mayor's office announced the police department would be prohibited from executing no-knock search warrants starting April 8.Daunte Wright, 20When: April 11, 2021 Where: Brooklyn Center, Minnesota What happened: The young father was pulled over by police for an expired tag and an illegal air freshener. During the stop, officers learned he had an outstanding warrant and attempted to arrest him, but Wright pulled away and tried to drive off. As video of the incident shows, Officer Kim Potter yelled, "Taser" repeatedly before she shot Wright with her handgun. She then said, "Holy sh*t! I just shot him!" She added: "I grabbed the wrong f**king gun, and I shot him." The shooting led to days of unrest in suburban Brooklyn Center after a tumultuous year of coast-to-coast protests over police brutality and how officers interact with Black people. The outcome: In December, Potter was found guilty of first and second-degree manslaughter in Wright's death. CNN reported in February that she was sentenced to two years in prison, far less than the seven years and two months prosecutors requested. George Floyd, 46When: May 25, 2020 Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota What happened: Minneapolis Police responded to a report of a "forgery in progress" outside of a Cup Foods store where Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20. Officers approached Floyd's car, yanked him from the vehicle, handcuffed him and began to struggle with him in front of a squad car. Video camera footage showed one officer -- in an effort to restrain Floyd -- knelt on his neck for over nine minutes. Floyd pleaded with officers to release him saying, "I can't breathe," and repeatedly calling out for his mother. After several minutes, he was unresponsive. The outcomes: The Minnesota governor issued an executive order activating the national guard amidst the protests following Floyd's death. Protests then spread nationwide in the summer of 2020 as #BlackLivesMatter resurged in popularity on social media. Derek Chauvin -- the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck -- was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for killing Floyd. Chauvin faces 22 years in prison. In February, three other officers were found guilty of violating Floyd's civil rights. CNN reported Tuesday that they are set to stand trial in mid-June for their involvement in Floyd's death. They have all pleaded not guilty. Ronald Greene, 49When: May 10, 2019 Where: Baton Rouge, Louisiana What happened: Louisiana State Police (LSP) engaged in a vehicle pursuit of Ronald Greene after attempting to pull him over for an unspecified traffic violation. LSP reported that the pursuit ended with Greene crashing his car into a tree.Two years later, body camera footage of the incident was released that showed state troopers repeatedly tasing, beating and violently dragging Greene. The family has filed a lawsuit, accusing the agency of trying to cover up how Greene died. Greene's family said they were initially told that he died in a car crash, but forensics examiners later eliminated the car crash as being a reason for his cause of death.The autopsy, prepared by the Union Parish Coroner's Office, states in its opinion section that lacerations of Greene's head were "inconsistent with motor vehicle collision injury and most consistent with multiple impacts from a blunt object."What's next: A special committee has been investigating Greene's case since 2019. Last May, two of the state troopers involved in Greene's death were reprimanded for their actions, specifically for violating body camera procedures. Last week, the local Louisiana district attorney with jurisdiction over the town where Greene died told state lawmakers he plans to convene a special grand jury and pursue criminal charges against the troopers involved in the Black motorist's death.There have been no arrests or indictments of any of the officers involved. Meanwhile, the former head of the LSP on Thursday failed to appear at an appeal hearing related to the case.Breonna Taylor, 26When: March 13, 2020 Where: Louisville, Kentucky What happened: A Jefferson County circuit judge issued five search warrants in pursuit of Taylor's ex-boyfriend, convicted of drug-related crimes. One of those warrants was for Taylor's apartment, and Louisville Metro Police Department executed it early on the morning on March 13. Police announced themselves and battered down the front door while Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed. Thinking they were intruders, Walker fired one shot at officers with a gun he legally owned. Officers then responded with heavy fire, fatally shooting Taylor during the raid. The outcomes: Protests erupted in Louisville shortly after Taylor's death. The case started to gain more national attention following the murder of Floyd in Minneapolis. Her death -- along with Floyd's -- sparked a racial reckoning in the US when demonstrators across the country demanded an end to discriminatory policing practices and inspired more conversations about police brutality against Black women. The city of Louisville agreed to pay Taylor's family a $12 million settlement for their wrongful death lawsuit, the highest settlement ever paid by the city, according to a spokeswoman from the Louisville mayor's office. Brett Hankinson -- one of the officers involved in the raid -- was the only officer charged in connection with the shooting. He was acquitted on three counts of felony wanton endangerment in connection with the raid.David McAtee, 53When: June 1, 2020 Where: Louisville, Kentucky What happened: During a protest following the death of Taylor and Floyd, Louisville police and the Kentucky National Guard were sent to disperse a large crowd of demonstrators around midnight in front of a BBQ stand McAtee owned. Officers began firing pepper balls into the crowd, one of which hit McAtee's niece, McAtee's nephew told CNN affiliate WAVE. Louisville Police released a video where McAtee appears to grab his niece and fire shots at officers. Louisville Police and the National Guard then took cover and fired back, killing McAtee, according to the former police chief. The outcomes: One former police officer has been indicted for unreasonable force against an individual during the protest that lead to McAtee's death. McAtee's family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against 10 LMPD officers and 10 members of the Kentucky National Guard, accusing them of assault and battery, excessive use of force and negligence among other charges. Atatiana Jefferson, 28When: October 12, 2019 Where: Fort Worth, TexasWhat happened: Overnight on October 12, Fort Worth officers responded to a call from a concerned neighbor who noticed the front door was left open at Jefferson's home. Jefferson was babysitting her nephew for her sister, who was recovering from heart surgery, when two Fort Worth police officers arrived at the home without knocking. Police reports say Jefferson heard a noise outside, approached the window and pulled out her gun. Body camera footage shows one officer demanding through the window for Jefferson to show her hands before opening fire through the window, killing her in front of her nephew. The outcomes: In December 2019, a Texas grand jury indicted former Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean for Jefferson's death. The Fort Worth Telegram previously reported that Dean pleaded not guilty and was released on bond in October 2019, with a trial scheduled for this May. Jefferson's father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fort Worth and Dean. Jefferson's sister filed a separate wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fort Worth, Dean and Fort Worth's former police chief. Elijah McClain, 23When: August 24, 2019 Where: Aurora, Colorado What happened: Elijah McClain was walking home from a convenience store when he was confronted by three officers in Aurora, Colorado in response to a 911 caller reporting a suspicious person wearing a ski mask. McClain "resisted contact" and a struggle ensued, according to a news release from police.McClain was wrestled to the ground, according to a letter from the Adams County District Attorney, and an officer proceeded to place him in a carotid hold, restricting blood flow to his brain. When paramedics arrived, they administered McClain ketamine, a powerful anesthetic. He suffered a heart attack en route to the hospital and was declared brain dead three days later. The outcomes: Last year, the city agreed to pay the McClain family $15 million to settle the civil rights lawsuit the family filed after his death. A Colorado grand jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics in September each on manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, among other charges as part of a 32-count indictment. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser opened the investigation after a viral petition advocated for the investigation and the Adams County District Attorney declined to bring charges against the officers. The Colorado Attorney General's Office launched a 14-month investigation into the Aurora police and fire departments. The investigation found the police department had a pattern of practicing racially biased policing and excessive force and had failed to record legally required information when interacting with the community.In November, the city and the state of Colorado reached an agreement on the terms of a consent decree to resolve issues with the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue that were identified in a September "Patterns and Practices" report.The consent decree covers four areas identified in the Attorney General's report: Racially Biased Policing, Use of Force, Documentation of Stops, and Ketamine and Other Chemical Restraints.CNN's Omar Jimenez, Alta Spells, Nick Valencia and Jade Gordon contributed to this report.

Louisville officer fired for policy violations related to fatal David McAtee shooting – Courier-Journal

By |2022-04-13T11:24:57-04:00April 12th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

The former Louisville police officer who fired pepper balls into a West End barbecue shop just before owner David McAtee was fatally shot by a National Guard member was terminated Feb. 7 for violating department policies. A Professional Standards Unit investigation found Katie Crews violated three policies related to the McAtee incident at 26th Street and West Broadway the night of June 1, 2020: body camera procedures, de-escalation and use of chemical agents, according to the termination letter from LMPD Chief Erika Shields.A separate internal investigation related to a Facebook post in which Crews celebrated a protester being shot by pepper balls found she also violated policies on using social media and police conduct.Crews has appealed her firing to the city's Police Merit Board but requested the hearing be put on hold until federal criminal charges against her are resolved.In the Feb. 16 appeal, her attorney, Kyle Vaughn, wrote the allegations aren't supported by evidence, the penalty is disproportionate and excessive for the offenses and other "similarly situated officers" have been penalized less.More:Former LMPD officer involved in David McAtee shooting now facing federal chargesLast month, Crews was indicted on federal charges for using unreasonable force against McAtee's niece, Machelle McAtee, when police and National Guard members were called to clear the parking lot across the street at Dino's Food Mart.A 9 p.m. curfew was in place because of protests resulting from the police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Crews was the only officer to use force that night McAtee was killed.When most of the LMPD officers and Guard members exited from a line of military transport vehicles that pulled up on West Broadway just after midnight, Crews veered off toward 26th Street and fired pepper balls at people who rushed into McAtee's business where he also lived.Crews stood at close range on the property line firing pepper balls into McAtee's kitchen, hitting his niece several times. McAtee pulled his niece inside and fired twice above his shoulder with a handgun.Two LMPD officers, including Crews and Austin Allen, and two National Guard members returned fire. McAtee was hit in the heart and died almost immediately.In 2021, Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Wine determined that Crews did not violate any state criminal laws.Crews failed to activate her body-worn camera that night and didn't complete a "failure to activate" form, Shields wrote in the termination letter.She also violated the department's policy on the use of chemical agents — in this case the pepper balls — when she used them on a crowd that was "neither disorderly nor aggressive," Shields wrote.Crews also fired pepper balls at McAtee's niece when she didn't pose a threat and was standing in the doorway of private property.She also violated the department's de-escalation policy by failing to give people a chance to respond to her commands before firing the pepper balls, Shields wrote.Minute by minute:What happened the night David McAtee was shot dead by National GuardSocial media incidentBefore the McAtee shooting, Crews posted a Courier Journal photo of a protester handing a flower to Crews, writing a caption that said "I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt … Come back and get some more ole girl, I'll be on the line again tonight."Shields in her letter wrote the comment could be construed as promoting violence, therefore violating the policy. The post also "adversely affected, lowered or destroyed" public respect and confidence in the department.Shields wrote that Crews' conduct overall demanded termination and "severely damaged" the department's image. The result of her actions "seriously impedes" the department's goal of providing citizens with a professional law enforcement agency, Shields wrote.Kala Kachmar is an investigative reporter. Reach her at 502-662-2002; kkachmar@courierjournal.com or @NewsQuip on Twitter. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/subscribe.

Louisville officer fired for policy violations related to fatal David McAtee shooting

By |2022-04-12T13:39:12-04:00April 12th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

The former Louisville police officer who fired pepper balls into a West End barbecue shop just before owner David McAtee was fatally shot by a National Guard member was terminated Feb. 7 for violating department policies. A Professional Standards Unit investigation found Katie Crews violated three policies related to the McAtee incident at 26th Street and West Broadway the night of June 1, 2020: body camera procedures, de-escalation and use of chemical agents, according to the termination letter from LMPD Chief Erika Shields.A separate internal investigation related to a Facebook post in which Crews celebrated a protester being shot by pepper balls found she also violated policies on using social media and police conduct.Crews has appealed her firing to the city's Police Merit Board but requested the hearing be put on hold until federal criminal charges against her are resolved.In the Feb. 16 appeal, her attorney, Kyle Vaughn, wrote the allegations aren't supported by evidence, the penalty is disproportionate and excessive for the offenses and other "similarly situated officers" have been penalized less.More:Former LMPD officer involved in David McAtee shooting now facing federal chargesLast month, Crews was indicted on federal charges for using unreasonable force against McAtee's niece, Machelle McAtee, when police and National Guard members were called to clear the parking lot across the street at Dino's Food Mart.A 9 p.m. curfew was in place because of protests resulting from the police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Crews was the only officer to use force that night McAtee was killed.When most of the LMPD officers and Guard members exited from a line of military transport vehicles that pulled up on West Broadway just after midnight, Crews veered off toward 26th Street and fired pepper balls at people who rushed into McAtee's business where he also lived.Crews stood at close range on the property line firing pepper balls into McAtee's kitchen, hitting his niece several times. McAtee pulled his niece inside and fired twice above his shoulder with a handgun.Two LMPD officers, including Crews and Austin Allen, and two National Guard members returned fire. McAtee was hit in the heart and died almost immediately.In 2021, Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Wine determined that Crews did not violate any state criminal laws.Crews failed to activate her body-worn camera that night and didn't complete a "failure to activate" form, Shields wrote in the termination letter.She also violated the department's policy on the use of chemical agents — in this case the pepper balls — when she used them on a crowd that was "neither disorderly nor aggressive," Shields wrote.Crews also fired pepper balls at McAtee's niece when she didn't pose a threat and was standing in the doorway of private property.She also violated the department's de-escalation policy by failing to give people a chance to respond to her commands before firing the pepper balls, Shields wrote.Minute by minute:What happened the night David McAtee was shot dead by National GuardSocial media incidentBefore the McAtee shooting, Crews posted a Courier Journal photo of a protester handing a flower to Crews, writing a caption that said "I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt … Come back and get some more ole girl, I'll be on the line again tonight."Shields in her letter wrote the comment could be construed as promoting violence, therefore violating the policy. The post also "adversely affected, lowered or destroyed" public respect and confidence in the department.Shields wrote that Crews' conduct overall demanded termination and "severely damaged" the department's image. The result of her actions "seriously impedes" the department's goal of providing citizens with a professional law enforcement agency, Shields wrote.Kala Kachmar is an investigative reporter. Reach her at 502-662-2002; kkachmar@courierjournal.com or @NewsQuip on Twitter. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/subscribe.

'Unacceptable': Rally urges changes at Metro Corrections following 8 deaths within months

By |2022-03-30T14:51:14-04:00March 30th, 2022|David McAtee, Election 2020|

Cane Weitherspoon stood before a crowd in Jefferson Square Park on Wednesday just before noon, holding a baby girl that his mother will not get to see grow up.That's because Stephanie Dunbar, 48, died Dec. 4 while in the custody of Louisville Metro Corrections — the third person to die in the department's custody that week."I didn't know what was going on," Weitherspoon said of his mother's death. "I really didn't know how to take it."Since his loss, another five people have died while in the custody of the downtown jail — sparking outrage among community members and organizations that view one death as too many, let alone eight within five months. In response, they formed a coalition called Community Stakeholders to End Deaths at LMDC, which organized the rally and press conference at Jefferson Square on Wednesday, whichattended by more than two dozen people."It was unacceptable when it was three, then four, five, six, seven and now we've lost eight of our neighbors and community members," Amber Duke, interim president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said at the gathering. "Until folks take this seriously — the mayor's office, our judicial partners — people have and will continue to die." Multiple deaths at the jail have been attributed to suicide and drug overdoses by jail officials. That has called into question the integrity of mental health screenings and security measures at the jail, which has clearly failed to keep illicit drugs out of the building. After the seventh death and two "no confidence" votes, Metro Corrections Director Dwayne Clark announced on March 18 that he would retire at the end of April. Following the eighth death — which the jail attributed to an overdose, though the coroner said it was awaiting autopsy — Metro Corrections announced extra security measures geared toward keeping drugs out.The changes involve how mail is delivered, how often K-9 dogs are used and how new prisoners are screened.  6 deaths in 4 months:Louisville's jail is in crisis. Here's what can be done to fix itThese steps aren't enough, though, Duke said. There needs to be a "thorough review," of Wellpath Care, the privately contracted medical and mental health services provider for the jail, because "there is clear indication something is wrong with their screening process," Duke said. "We have to, as a community, investigate and hold WellPath responsible for the care they are providing for people in custody."Additionally, Duke argued that while the jail has announced measures to prevent drugs from coming into jail, all of the measures are focused on those who are incarcerated and don't include people who come in and out of the building."If they are serious about contraband, serious about substances not entering the building, they have to be serious about every individual, every vendor that comes in and out," Duke said. A major hurdle the jail is facing is overcrowding, coupled with a shortage of staff. In 2021 Metro Corrections lost 70 officers and hired 49. In January, the department reported 153 vacancies. According to a report on the jail’s population dated Dec. 8, the jail was 122 people above capacity. As of Monday, the jail was  eight people above capacity, Clark told The Courier Journal.  Related:Louisville Metro Corrections revamps drug detection efforts after another jail deathDenorver "Dee" Garrett, a Louisville resident and social justice protester whose arrest went viral when a Louisville Metro Police Officer was caught on video punching him in the face during his arrest, served 40 days in the jail in the fall of 2021, starting in early October.Garrett told The Courier Journal in February that people in the two blocks he stayed in were forced to sleep under tables and under TV monitors. He said he slept on the floor in a bed "boat," but many had to sleep on mats."To get to the restroom, you have to step over other people," he said. "It’s a hazard."Shameka Parrish-Wright, who serves as the operations manager for "The Bail Project" and is running for mayor, spoke out at the press conference about the overcrowding in the jail. The answer isn't to build a new jail, she said, but rather to implement new measures that allow those who are not a danger to the community out of the jail. "We need to get as many people out as possible," Parrish-Wright said. More headlines:Former LMPD officer involved in David McAtee shooting now facing federal chargesJudges, she continued, need to be bold in their sentencing decisions and home incarceration could be used more. Additionally, she suggested a system that would allow people to resolve old bench warrants without being arrested. "The jail cannot be a dumping ground for people we don't know what to do with," she said. Louisville Metro Corrections deaths since November 2021: Kenneth Hall, 59, who was found unresponsive in a medical unit cell Nov. 29 of apparent heart disease. He was arrested Nov. 2 in Boone County and held on a $10,000 bond for failure to appear and a bench warrant for failing to register as a sex offender. It’s not clear why Hall was housed in the Jefferson County jail, more than 80 miles from where he was arrested.Rickitta Smith, 34, who was found unresponsive by staff Dec. 3. She was administered Narcan and taken to a hospital, where she died. Smith was held on a $5,000 bond after being charged Dec. 1 with third-degree criminal trespass, possession of cocaine, possession of a synthetic drug, evading police and resisting arrest.Stephanie Dunbar, 48, died by suicide Dec. 4 after she was moved into a segregated cell for fighting with other inmates. She was charged with second-degree assault and held on a $25,000 bond after she was accused of slashing someone’s face and head with a knife Nov. 30.Garry L. Wetherill, 41, who died in the hospital after jail officials said he attempted to hang himself Jan. 1. On Dec. 27, he was held on a $25,000 bond after being charged with receiving more than $10,000 of stolen property and failing to register as a sex offender.Keith Smith, 66, who was found unresponsive in the medical unit while in jail and died Jan. 9 at the University of Louisville Medical Center. On Jan. 5, Smith was charged with third-degree criminal trespassing and held on a $1,500 bond after refusing to leave a downtown restaurant.Lesley Starnes, 36, who died in the hospital Feb. 7 after the jail said he attempted to hang himself. He had been booked into Metro Corrections on Jan. 26, arrested in Jefferson County on a Bullitt County warrant for felony non-support charges and had a $5,000 bond.A man, who has yet to be identified, who died in the hospital March 12 after he was found unresponsive. He'd been booked into the jail three days earlier on a parole violation. He was 32 years old, and his cause of death has not been released. Barry Williams Sr., 50, who was pronounced dead at the hospital March 28 after he was found unresponsive. LMDC officials cited his cause of death as an overdose, though the coroner has not issued a cause of death. Williams had been in jail custody since May 2020 on a variety of charges, including domestic violence assault, burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 24 years in state prison in February and was being held on a $100,000 bond with pending post-trial motions.Contact reporter Krista Johnson at kjohnson3@gannett.com.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former Cop On Civil Rights Charges In Incident That Led to …

By |2022-03-24T06:32:35-04:00March 23rd, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

A federal grand jury has charged an ex-cop from Louisville, Kentucky, for allegedly using unreasonable force while trying to enforce the city’s curfew during civil unrest sparked by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020. The female officer fired pepper balls at a group of Black civilians, setting off a course of events that would leave one hometown hero dead. According to the New York Times, the United States Department of Justice has accused Katie R. Crews, 29, of violating a Black woman’s rights while serving in the capacity of an officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department on close to midnight on May 31, 2020. Katie Crews This action directly led to the killing of the woman’s uncle moments later in the morning on June 1. A statement from the DOJ said the Indiana native shot a pepper ball “at an individual, while the individual was standing on private property and not posing a threat to the defendant or others.” Crews, who had been on administrative leave since June 1, 2020, and fired February 2022, believed she was enforcing a citywide 9 p.m. curfew mandated by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer one day earlier.  She, along with other officers and soldiers from the National Guard engaged by the governor, was locked at the intersection of 26th Street and West Broadway in a predominantly Black neighborhood with the intention to keep the peace. Thomas B. Wine, the Jefferson County commonwealth’s attorney, contends that she misjudged why a group of Black people was assembled in the parking lot of Dino’s Food Market and across the street from a foodery called “YaYa’s BBQ” where David “YaYa” McAtee, a popular chef, was selling plates of food late on the night in question. “Their primary goal was to clear a crowd from the parking lot at Dino’s Food Market,” Wine said. “After the officers and soldiers arrived, they began clearing the parking lot and the surrounding streets. Most civilians in the crowd were compliant and began to exit the area, either by walking away or driving off in their personal vehicles.” Wine assessed, “There was no evidence that the crowd was engaged in any type of protest or destructive behavior.” Still, Crews fired into the crowd a series of pepper balls. One landed close to Machelle McAtee, the chef’s niece, who was standing under a blue canopy outside of the shop. She and others ran into the restaurant to escape the pepper ball shooting. Reports claim that people may not have been able to distinguish the sounds of the pepper balls and actual ammunition. David emerged from the door of his business and fired one shot. He retreated but returned with a second shot, which escalated the police and the National Guard’s use of force. Wine said the shots from David “switched from non-lethal weapons such as pepper ball guns to service weapons,” leading to a shot that ultimately took his life. “After [David] McAtee’s second shot, Crews, LMPD officer Austin Allen, National Guard soldiers Andrew Kroszkewicz, and Staff Sergeant Matthew Roark all returned fire,” Wine stated. “Allen fired once, Crews fired eight times, Kroszkewicz fired four times and Roark fired six times.”  A total of 19 shots powered in the direction of YaYa’s BBQ, in the early morning of June. 1.  Eight of the shots came from Crews and the other 11 shots were from the National Guard and local police force. It is unclear which of the National Guard’s shots pierced McAtee’s chest, but the man died before the paramedics could arrive. Wine said the police and National Guard used “reasonably believed, based on the facts and circumstances, that Mr. McAtee posed an immediate threat of death or serious injury to them or to another person,” noting they were justified “to use deadly physical force in response to the deadly physical force used by Mr. McAtee against them.” Because of this ruling, the officers were cleared of the killing of David McAtee. The state does not have laws that prosecute civil rights violations. The federal indictment suggests that Crews was not justified in firing the pepper balls into the crowd. WAVE 3 reports FBI’s Public Corruption and Civil Rights Task Force have investigated Crews’ case to weigh in on the appropriateness of her conduct. Her own department was reviewing her for making comments on her social media accounts about the protest. She wrote, in referencing another incident involving a woman in 2020, “Just so for it to be known. For anyone that knows me, my facial expression tells everything. P.S. I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt. Come back and get ya some more ole girl, I’ll be on the line again tonight.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office has since charged her for allegedly depriving Machelle McAtee of her civil rights under color of law when she fired at her, making this the first criminal charge filed in relation to the June 1 shooting. Jamie McAtee, David’s brother, and Machelle’s uncle said “It’s still to this day, it’s very rough. It broke up a lot of our family, a lot of back-and-forths. We didn’t know who to talk to, who to confide in.” “My niece, she still has scars to this day that, you know, remind her of that night that are never going to go anywhere,” Jamie continued. “So, that’s one great thing, but there’s other steps they have to be able to go to also to make it make sense in a way.” A formal McAtee family statement was released by their lawyer, Steve Romines.  It read, “We agree with the Grand Jury’s decision today that criminal activity by LMPD in the unwarranted shooting at innocent bystanders outside of YaYa’s BBQ is what directly led to the death of David McAtee. These charges evidence LMPD’s complete disregard for its own policies and the safety of citizens of Louisville. The city’s denials of responsibility are just proof that despite claims of accountability and transparency, nothing has changed.” A Louisville Metro Police Department statement says that Crews was terminated on Feb. 7, 2022, and is no longer a member of their force.

Recent police shootings in Louisville adds to cases investigated by KSP | News | wdrb.com

By |2022-03-18T21:41:26-04:00March 18th, 2022|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After two police shootings in the past 24 hours, Kentucky State Police (KSP) is now investigating seven shootings involving Louisville Metro Police officers.KSP handles shootings involving police officers per a new policy announced July 2020 in the wake of the fatal shootings of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee in Louisville.On Thursday, an armed suspect was shot by officers responding to a report of a woman being robbed and assaulted at a home on Paul Avenue near Churchill Downs. On Friday, a man was shot and killed near Barret Avenue in the Highlands after he advanced toward police with a knife, according to LMPD.The prior police shootings span from November 2020 to October 2021, but no additional information or updates from law enforcement has been shared since last September. Nov. 22, 2020 - Brian Allen Thurman, 49, was shot after officers pulled over a car that was reported as stolen around 10:30 p.m. in the area of 21st and Gilligan streets, according to authorities. Thurman was taken by EMS to University of Louisville Hospital, where he died. A woman was in the car with Thurman but fled the scene on foot after the shooting, according to police.March 9, 2021 - Darryl Browning was shot by police on Bashford Manor Lane hear the Walmart. It happened after he fled a traffic stop and went on a chase that went for several miles. LMPD said an officer and the man exchanged gunfire, and the man was shot. March 11, 2021 - Bryan Beach was shot by police on Ashland Avenue. LMPD said Beach was being arrested for arson when he ran. He was armed with a knife, according to police, "and a struggle ensued."May 30, 2021 - Ryan Bernal was shot and killed on Georgetown Place. LMPD said Bernal ran after stealing a car. At one point, officers said he flashed a gun and police fired shots.Oct. 26, 2021 - Ivan Foster was shot and killed on River Bend Drive by LMPD officers. Police were responding to a domestic incident.KSP said the Critical Incident Response Team has had a 65% increase in cases being investigated in the last year. Body cameras have been released in each case.Related Stories:Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

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