Former Brown-Forman Exec. Joins Louisville's Mightily, Adding to a Roster of Big Time … – EIN News

By |2021-09-09T15:32:43-04:00September 9th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES, September 9, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Industry trailblazer Mightily, a premiere full-service Advertising Agency, announces hire of Jonathan Salazar as VP of Strategy and Analytics. Salazar brings with him an impressive nine years of experience as former Marketing and Analytics Executive at Brown-Forman. This latest addition by Mightily is yet another big move highlighting the award-winning agency’s aggressive approach in assembling one of the strongest teams of talent in the Industry. “I have said from the beginning, in order to standout and really succeed in an industry that is full of exceptional talent, we need to pull together a collective brain trust that is bold, unafraid, and proven. Similar to our portfolio of cutting-edge creative, our approach to identifying talent pushes boundaries and delivers our distinctive signature of elevated services to Mightily clients. Jonathan is no exception. His ability to realize trends and ideate solutions in an ever-changing consumer market is invaluable. Brown-Forman is a giant in the spirt industry and Jonathan’s contributions during his tenure are notable. As thrilled as I am to boast his addition to Mightily, I am even more excited for our team to have a front row seat to his particular brand of brilliance.” – Lesa Seibert, Mightily CEO Salazar is an Indiana University Southeast grad, where he not only double majored in marketing and international business but also received his MBA. At Brown-Forman, he was instrumental in the establishment and execution of the Jack Daniel’s global creative “Make It Count”. He is an expert in understanding the nuances required in a growing a brand at any perspective, having executed marketing strategies at a regional, national, and global scale.Originally from Mexico, Salazar considers himself “culturally hybrid” after moving with his family to southern Indiana when he was seven years old. Because his roots are significant to who he is, Salazar co-led COPA, an employee research group at Brown-Forman, which represents the Latino employee population at Brown-Forman.“Professionally, I’m excited about the potential that Mightily has. Even within the name, it makes me think of small but mighty… That excites me. Personally, I see it as a challenge for me to take that step from a leader in the sense of leading processes, structures, strategy, and brands to moving into an organizational leadership position… Our past experiences are what makes us who we are today. That’s a reason why I am a strong advocate for diversity in the workforce - because of those experiences that people bring. The more that we can ensure that the experiences are different and varied, the more unique thinking we will have when we come together.” – Jonathan Salazar, Mightily VP of Strategy and AnalyticsAbout Mightily“Anti-established since 2013,” Mightily quickly garnered attention in Louisville and the industry with its recognizable aesthetic and creative attitude, servicing clients with brand strategy and identity, creative writing, customer experiences, websites, marketing strategy and consulting, research, media buying, and social media consulting and management. Mightily’s notable accolades include a Silver National Addy Award for their poster campaign honoring the lives of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, commissioned by the Louisville Urban League during the height of protests for social justice across the United States in 2020.Clients include American Printing House for the Blind, Trilogy Health Services, Old Forester, Park Community Credit Union, Hosparus Health, Pallitus Health Partners, Zappos! Unboxed, Zappos! Outlet, The Parklands of Floyds Fork, TeamSense, HR Affiliates, Greater Louisville Inc., Frost Brown Todd, MCM CPAs, Newport News / Williamsburg Airport, Kentucky League of Cities, Shepherd Therapeutics, and Eckerts.Niki DecHGPR Inc.+1 310-859-8870email us hereVisit us on social media:FacebookTwitter You just read: News Provided By September 09, 2021, 17:54 GMT Share This Article EIN Presswire's priority is source transparency. We do not allow opaque clients, and our editors try to be careful about weeding out false and misleading content. As a user, if you see something we have missed, please do bring it to our attention. Your help is welcome. EIN Presswire, Everyone's Internet News Presswire™, tries to define some of the boundaries that are reasonable in today's world. Please see our Editorial Guidelines for more information. Submit your press release

Pay boost, raises part of tentative LMPD contract deal | In-depth | wdrb.com

By |2021-08-23T17:57:47-04:00August 20th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Election 2020|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police officers and supervisors will receive pay increases and guaranteed raises under tentative contract deals reached Friday between Mayor Greg Fischer and the head of the local police union.In addition, the collective bargaining agreements have significant reforms and more oversight within the department, including retaining past findings of officer misconduct, enhanced discipline and mandatory alcohol and drug testing after "critical" incidents, such as shootings.The department has been heavily scrutinized and criticized since the March 13, 2020 fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor and the death of businessman David McAtee during city-wide protests against police months later."These changes align the police department with the best practices of reform-minded police forces across the country," Fischer said in a statement.The agreements still need the approval of members of the River City Fraternal Order of Police lodge and the Metro Council. They would then go to Fischer for the final sign-off.At issue are a contract for officers and sergeants that the council extended last fall after the union and Fischer approved it; and a contract for lieutenants that expired in 2018.The mayor's office said the full proposals will be made public after they are sent to union members in the coming days. The FOP is expected to vote the week of Sept. 6, according to a news release.FOP President Ryan Nichols said the tentative contracts will help the department recruit "the most qualified candidates and retain our outstanding officers."The salary increases are an effort to retain and bring new and more experienced officers to the department. Chief Erica Shields has said LMPD should have about 1,300 officers but is around 250 short of what the department is authorized to have.New officers now make about $49,500. By the July 2023, officers' salaries will range from $51,000 to nearly $79,000 -- for an officer at the end of his or her career.And salaries for sergeants and lieutenants will also climb. Sergeants' salaries will be between $78,700 and $93,500 in the 2023 fiscal year, while lieutenants' salaries will be $98,000 to $123,100.In particular, the contract would mandate that all union members get raises every two years. In an example provided by Fischer's office, a new recruit who joins now could make roughly $65,000 within two years."With the challenges we face on gun violence and staffing, our city needs highly motivated officers, and the competitive salary pieces of this contract will help us achieve that," Shields said.Fischer said his administration's goal was to ensure "that we have a pay scale that allows us to recruit and retain the most talented people possible, while also making reforms to further trust between the police and the community they serve.""My hope is that the men and women of LMPD see this as an investment in them, that those considering law enforcement see it as an invitation to a fulfilling career, and that our residents see it as evidence of our commitment to bring major reformative changes to address accountability and community trust," he said.Along with reforms outlined in the tentative contract, the announcement noted LMPD has already changed its policies on handling search warrants and seizures, resumed random drug testing and started a practice of completing internal investigations even if an officer leaves the department while the investigation is ongoing. The department also has implemented required training to internal affairs investigators.Fischer said the reforms show "that we've heard and are responding to calls in the community for greater accountability and transparency. Together we've taken a contract that hasn't been significantly changed in decades and re-worked it to realize our goal of having the best police department in the nation."A report by consultant Hilliard Heintze -- ordered by Fischer in 2020 and released earlier this year -- noted that officers are leaving LMPD for other departments because of higher pay.The contract for officers and sergeants approved by the Metro Council last year included pay raises and a $5,000 housing incentive for police officers who live in areas they patrol. That provision was included in the city's settlement with Taylor's family.This story will be updated.Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

Former Louisville cop pleads guilty to hitting kneeling Breonna Taylor protester in head

By |2021-08-04T18:26:24-04:00August 4th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Louisville Metro Police Department officer Cory Evans pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to a felony committed while on the job, admitting he struck a kneeling protester in the back of the head with a riot stick.Evans, 33 of Sellersburg, Indiana, was charged June 9 with deprivation of rights under color of law for the incident, which took place around May 31, 2020, in the early days of widespread protests over the death of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman who LMPD officers killed in her apartment March 2020 during a search for drugs and cash.District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings will sentence Evans at 10 a.m. Nov. 23. He will remain free on bond until then, with Grady Jennings saying Evans was unlikely to flee.Evans and his defense attorney Brian Butler agreed to a plea deal with Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory, but it has yet to be accepted by the judge.As a part of the agreement, Evans would have to pay $1,962.85 in restitution and would not be sentenced to serve more than four years in prison.The charge's maximum penalty can carry up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and restitution.“While the vast majority of law enforcement officers are hardworking professionals who work conscientiously to protect the public, Cory Evans was simply not one of those officers,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Edward Gray of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office said in a news release after the hearing."This case provides another example that abusing that power and authority will not be tolerated in Louisville.”If the case had gone to trial, Gregory said the prosecution would have presented testimony, video and other evidence proving Evans' guilt.Gregory said Evans was working curfew duty for the LMPD Special Response Team when they encountered a group of protesters — including the victim, who is identified only as M.C. — near Brook Street and Broadway in downtown Louisville.M.C. had kneeled and raised their hands to surrender when Evans struck them in the back of the head, creating a gash that required stitches at the hospital that night.M.C. did not make a request to be heard in court.As a part of his bond, Evans is required to submit to supervision and surrender his passport and any guns he owns. Grady Jennings indicated she will allow Evans to travel to Texas for three weeks in order to train for a new job he will soon begin.Evans resigned from LMPD less than a week after being charged and after the department moved to fire him.The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division can charge individuals under nine Title 18 civil rights statutes, including deprivation of rights under the color of law.That makes it a crime for anyone acting on behalf of the law, including police officers or other public officials, to deprive someone of their Constitutional rights.Evans was previously scheduled to be arraigned and enter a "change of plea" on July 14, but the judge agreed to delay the hearing after a joint motion from the case's attorneys.According to Kentucky law, police officers lose their certification with the state for pleading guilty to or being convicted of a felony offense.A Courier Journal analysis of Evans' use of force history shows he was involved in at least 27 incidents in his roughly seven years as a sworn officer — including two that took place after he is accused of hitting the demonstrator.In fact, 21 of those incidents took place between the beginning of 2018 and June 2020. LMPD did not limit Evans' policing powers until July 23 when he was placed on administrative reassignment."A professional standards investigation was initiated," a LMPD spokesperson said. "However, it was stayed in deference of the federal investigations to ensure it would not impede the federal process."Evans is not the only LMPD officer under federal scrutiny.Dusten Dean, captured on video shooting pepper balls at a local TV news crew, is under federal investigation for those actions, The Courier Journal previously reported.These probes are in addition to the FBI's ongoing investigations into the fatal police shooting of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman killed in her home last March, and the death of David McAtee, who was shot by a member of the Kentucky National Guard.Reach Tessa Duvall at tduvall@courier-journal.com and 502-582-4059. Twitter: @TessaDuvall.

Dino's Food Mart, once ordered to vacate as nuisance, sues Metro Council members

By |2021-07-29T18:27:35-04:00July 29th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

Dino's Food Mart, a convenience store in the West End that fought off a public nuisance order, has filed a lawsuit alleging defamation by members of the Louisville Metro Council.  Metro Council President David James, former Councilwoman Denise Bentley and District 5 Councilwoman Donna Purvis — who represents the district the store is in, at 2601 W. Broadway in Russell — are listed as defendants. The suit was filed last week and accuses the three of engaging "in a civil conspiracy wherein they were involved in the unlawfulcorrupt combination or agreement to slander, defame, and deprive Plaintiffs of their property," according to court records.Lawsuits represent one one side of a case.Purvis declined to comment on the lawsuit. James said he has not read the lawsuit, and Bentley, who is a legislative assistant for Purvis, said she has not received anything and that the council does not comment on pending litigation. The three are accused by the store and its landlord, SHM 2601, of making several allegations about the establishment, such as the premises are unsanitary, it allowed for the sale of "spice and crack" and prostitution and that the landlord was the "cause of the shooting of David McAtee."More:Southern Indiana man killed in accidental explosion outside his homeMcAtee was fatally shot June 1, 2020, at his barbecue restaurant across the street when police and the National Guard responded to the scene to disperse a crowd gathered at the food mart after curfew. The curfew had been enacted following several nights of protests over the murder of Breonna Taylor.The store and gas station had been served a public nuisance order in April 2020 following complaints from nearby residents. It was then given an additional citation and ordered to vacate when the city's Department of Codes and Regulations denied its appeal in August.That additional citation listed several reports of assault and drug possession as an additional basis for its qualification as a public nuisance.The Metro Code Enforcement Board upheld in February the order for Dino's to vacate its premises, but the decision was denied by the Jefferson District Court judge in April. City hall:Advocates caught off guard by Louisville plans to address homelessness"The real responsibility for crime in the community is not a small neighborhood store, but the Louisville Metro Police Department and Louisville Metro Government are not allocating the proper resources to deal with crime in that neighborhood," the attorney for Dino's, Nader Shunnarah, said at the time. James, Purvis and Bentley are all being sued for negligence, defamation, invasion of privacy, tortious interference of a business, wrongful use of civil proceedings, abuse of process and civil conspiracy. The suit lists a slew of statements James allegedly said, such as "nothing rarely good happens there" and the store is "a vampire, sucking the life out of west Louisville." The business and its landlord also accuse the council members of being discriminatory."Defendants have openly advocated the closure of the middle eastern businesses so that the businesses may be operated by persons of African-American descent," the suit says. Dino's and SHM 2601 said they have suffered from lost business and damage to their reputation and esteem. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages because the council members' actions "were so oppressive, malicious, willful, wanton, and outrageous," the suit says.Reporter Ben Tobin contributed to this article. How to watch:Gov. Andy Beshear to give update on COVID-19 delta variant in KentuckyContact Ayana Archie at aarchie@courier-journal.com or follow on Twitter @AyanaArchie. Support strong local journalism by subscribing to The Courier Journal. 

2021 National ADDYs Present Silver Award to Poster Campaign Honoring the Lives of Breonna …

By |2021-07-30T02:24:56-04:00July 29th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES, July 29, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- An Illustration and Poster Campaign honoring the lives of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee received the Silver Award at the 2021 National ADDYs presented by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in June. The produced pieces were created by Mightily, a Louisville based full-service advertising agency, and commissioned by the Louisville Urban League, in response to police violence and the nationwide outcry for reform and social justice. Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky home on March 13, 2020, when officers from the Louisville Metro Police, forced entry under a “no-knock warrant”. Almost three months later, on June 1, 2020, while attending a protest for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, David McAtee was fatally shot by the Kentucky Army National Guard. As protests erupted across the City, The Louisville Urban League tasked Mightily with the time sensitive project of providing materials that would stand out in store windows, at marches, and on social media, in support of the movement for change. The illustrations and poster campaign created by Mightily, reflect a nostalgic aesthetic, drawing inspiration from the social climate of the late 60’s and early 70’s, with a bold and simple approach that integrates a ripped paper graphic treatment. “This project demonstrates the powerful intersection between art and humanity, where a single image or symbol can evoke our emotions with just one glance. We had to develop an approach that could visually communicate the purpose behind the campaign. We chose an old-school conceptual angle to inspire the protest marches to move forward and to symbolize a movement that was not turning back.” – Rankin Mapother, CCOThe AAF/National ADDY Awards are a premiere creative competition, recognizing outstanding work in the field of advertising, bestowing 216 national awards out of 700 entries that were eligible. This year’s awards presented Mightily with a Silver Award for their poster campaign that centered on the lives of Taylor and McAtee. The poster campaign received multiple ADDY’s at the AAF local and district competition, before qualifying for national consideration.“Reflecting back on that time, when citizens were mobilizing and there was an emotional charge across the city and the country as whole, we knew we had to simply trust the creative instincts of our team and turn the work around quickly. To meet that type of deadline, we had to bring in additional creatives that really understood what this project represented to Mightily, the city of Louisville, and most importantly, to the Taylor and McAtee families. Although we are honored by the recognition from the AAF, we are genuinely humbled to have played a small part to honor the legacies that started a movement.” – Lesa Seibert, CEO Mightily. About Mightily“Anti-established since 2013,” Mightily quickly garnered attention in Louisville and the industry with its recognizable aesthetic and creative attitude, servicing clients with brand strategy and identity, creative writing, customer experiences, websites, marketing strategy and consulting, research, media buying, and social media consulting and management.Niki DecHGPR Inc.+1 310-859-8870press@hgprinc.com You just read: News Provided By July 29, 2021, 18:17 GMT Share This Article EIN Presswire's priority is source transparency. We do not allow opaque clients, and our editors try to be careful about weeding out false and misleading content. As a user, if you see something we have missed, please do bring it to our attention. Your help is welcome. EIN Presswire, Everyone's Internet News Presswire™, tries to define some of the boundaries that are reasonable in today's world. Please see our Editorial Guidelines for more information. Submit your press release

Artist repairs vandalized Breonna Taylor mural and adds a new face as well

By |2021-07-26T01:21:15-04:00July 25th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS UNIT AND NEW TONIGHT A MURAL HONORING BREONNA TAYLOR AND DAVID MCATEE WAS REPAIRED AFTER IT WAS VANDALIZED EARLIER THIS SUMMER THE SAY THEIR NAMES MURAL AT THE INTERSECTION OF 11TH, AND MAIN SWA COVERED IN BLUE PAINT ARTIST. WHITNEY. HOLBURN HAS NOT ONLY FIXED THE MURAL BUT HAS ADDED ANOTHER FACE. WELL KNOWN LOCAL PROTESTER TRAVIS NODDY WAS ADDED TO THE MURAL. NAJDIAS W KILLED IN A SHOOTING IN NOVEMBER OF LAST YEAR AND A FACEBOOK. HOLBORN SAID THAT EVERY TIME SOMEONE VANDALIZES THE MURAL SHE WILL FIX IT AND ADD ANOTHER PHAS

'Say Their Name' mural in Louisville repaired, new face added

By |2021-07-25T00:25:44-04:00July 24th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

Artist Whitney Holbourn said she not only returned to fix the mural, but add another face: Travis Nagdy. LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A mural honoring Breonna Taylor and David McAtee has been repaired after it was vandalized earlier this summer. The "Say Their Names" mural at the intersection of 11th and Main was covered in blue paint just weeks after a different mural of Taylor at Lannan Memorial Park was vandalized. Surveillance footage captured by Trifecta Events Productions shows two people working together to put paint over several faces featured on the mural, including Taylor's and George Floyd's. Artist Whitney Holbourn said she not only returned to fix the mural, but add another face: Travis Nagdy. The 21-year-old who was at the forefront of Louisville's fight for justice died after a shooting in November 2020. "Some people decided to cover their faces in paint, to hide them, so I figured what could be more impactful than adding another face," Holbourn said on Facebook. "We decided to add Travis Nagdy...he was known for carrying his megaphones everywhere, leading chants and raising awareness and bringing the youth to the movement." Holbourn said the mural is worth the work, saying she will return any time the piece is vandalized. "That's the absolute best part of my job is being able to put things up so large that people can’t forget," Holbourn said. "People want to forget, it’s evident when people try to cover them up. But not on my watch." RELATED: 'Art can heal.' | Healing Walls Project, Kroger come together to create mural in west Louisville RELATED: Video released in Breonna Taylor vandalism at Lannan Park; anonymous donor offers $2,500 reward [embedded content] ►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users. Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Police union lawsuit: Judge tosses case seeking to stop council from approving contracts

By |2021-07-22T16:24:13-04:00July 22nd, 2021|David McAtee|

A Jefferson County judge on Wednesday tossed out a lawsuit seeking to remove Louisville Metro Council from the process of approving police union contracts.The River City Fraternal Order of Police in November filed suit against Metro Government over whether a state law that says the mayor's signature binds a collective bargaining agreement invalidates a local ordinance requiring Metro Council approval.Judge Brian Edwards sided with Metro Government, which argued that because the contract had already been approved by the mayor and Metro Council when the suit was filed, there's no controversy for the court to decide.More: County attorney issues opinion on union contract approvalThe court will not "seek advisory answers to abstract questions," Edwards wrote in the opinion.Meanwhile, the police union and the city continue to wrangle over a new contract. Eight months ago, they agreed to a now-expired contract that was preceded by years of negotiating.Despite the decision on the lawsuit, union officials are optimistic that they'll reach new agreements before the year is over.Since January, leaders of the FOP have been at the table with the mayor's negotiators hoping to renew two employment contracts: one for police officers and sergeants, which expired June 30; and another for lieutenants and captains, which expired on June 30, 2018.The contracts will determine the cost and scope of LMPD police salaries and benefits, as well as the size of the force, at a time when the controversial "defund the police" narrative — the idea that money spent on police officers could and should be spent on other social services — is dominating budget conversations across the country.Major issues of contention include pay raises anda proposal by the union to add at least 250 more officers to a quickly dwindling force, spokesman David Mutchler told The Courier Journal.Louisville Metro's $1.04B budget passes:Who won, who lost, who stayed evenThe negotiations haven't dragged on as long as they have in the past, said Ryan Nichols, president of the FOP. "We’ve accomplished a lot since we started in January," he said. "We addressed the economic side of things sooner rather than later."Given the ground rules, neither party can comment on specifics but the mayor's spokeswoman, Jean Porter, said the process "is moving forward well." "We're hopeful this ruling puts the matter to rest so we can focus on finalizing the contract so it can be presented to Metro Council for its approval," Porter told The Courier Journal.Ariana Levinson, a labor law professor at the University of Louisville Brandies School of Law who has studied the contract with her students, said it's common sense to need Metro Council approval for anything budget-related, especially a costly employment contract.She said a ruling in the FOP's favor would further erode transparency. Though no state law prohibits open negotiations, neither the mayor nor the FOP said they would allow anyone to observe."They don’t report to the public what’s happening," Levinson said. "They don’t provide education — a lot of people don’t understand how important this contract is and that this contract governs the workplace rules. LMPD treats it the same way they treat a specific personnel issue."Concerns about the most recent contract include a "no layoffs" clause, as well as a provision that doesn't allow the unpaid suspension of officers unless "they basically commit the most heinous crime under the sun," she said.For the FOP, one major issue is understaffing. David McAtee: Police action marred by 'poor communication,' confusion and mistakesThe maximum number of officers allowed is 1,300, which was designated when city and county governments merged in 2003. Mutchler said the force is at about 1,040, and could be under 1,000 by the end of August."There’s a lot of things that, as the city grows, they want the police to be involved in, and that just takes a lot of people," Mutchler said. "We’ve never added anything to the ranks. We were hard-pressed to keep up with everything as it was, but now that we’re bleeding off it makes things extremely difficult.”During last year's social justice protests, officers said they were overworked."They worked basically 12-hour days on the riot line, and we had to hold some officers back to respond to calls for service when we could," he said. "There was a period of time when there was no way officers were going to have time off."Mutchler hopes the process moves faster than in the past given the public cry for police accountability. They started negotiations on time this year "out of necessity," he said.While it would be nice to have a judge rule in their favor prior to the ratification of another contract, he said, he'd prefer having a contract "tomorrow.""We need a collective bargaining agreement so the city and offices understand what our obligations are in the future," he said. This story has been updated.Kala Kachmar is an investigative reporter. Reach her at 502-582-4469; kkachmar@courierjournal.com or @NewsQuip on Twitter. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/subscribe.

Louisville police union hopes for a new contract before year's end even as it sues city

By |2021-07-22T07:07:47-04:00July 22nd, 2021|David McAtee|

Eight months have passed since the city and the Louisville Metro Police officers' union agreed to a contract — now expired — that was preceded by years of negotiating.But union officials are now optimistic that they'll reach new agreements before the year is over.Since January, leaders of the River City Fraternal Order of Police have been at the table with Metro Government hoping to renew two employment contracts: one for police officers and sergeants, which expired June 30; and another for lieutenants and captains, which expired on June 30, 2018.The contracts will determine the cost and scope of LMPD police salaries and benefits, as well as the size of the force, at a time when the controversial "defund the police" narrative — the idea that money spent on police officers could and should be spent on other social services — is dominating budget conversations across the country.Major issues of contention include pay raises anda proposal by the union to add at least 250 more officers to a quickly dwindling force, spokesman David Mutchler told The Courier Journal.Louisville Metro's $1.04B budget passes:Who won, who lost, who stayed evenThe negotiations haven't dragged on as long as they have in the past, said Ryan Nichols, president of the FOP. "We’ve accomplished a lot since we started in January," he said. "We addressed the economic side of things sooner rather than later."But even as they negotiate, the FOP is gearing up for an Aug. 9 hearing in a lawsuit against the city that seeks to cut Metro Council from the contract approval process. The November 2020 lawsuit stems from a dispute about language in a state law that says the mayor's signature is the "exclusive" method by which such an agreement can be made.Mutchler says the state law "is clear" and that Metro Council doesn't belong in the process, but the Jefferson County Attorney's Office argues Metro Council should be involved because it makes all budget decisions.Ariana Levinson, a labor law professor at the University of Louisville Brandies School of Law who has studied the contract with her students, said it's common sense to need Metro Council approval for anything budget-related, especially a costly employment contract.She said a ruling in the FOP's favor would further erode transparency. Though no state law prohibits open negotiations, neither the mayor nor the FOP said they would allow anyone to observe."They don’t report to the public what’s happening," Levinson said. "They don’t provide education — a lot of people don’t understand how important this contract is and that this contract governs the workplace rules. LMPD treats it the same way they treat a specific personnel issue."Concerns about the most recent contract include a "no layoffs" clause, as well as a provision that doesn't allow the unpaid suspension of officers unless "they basically commit the most heinous crime under the sun," she said.For the FOP, one major issue is understaffing. David McAtee: Police action marred by 'poor communication,' confusion and mistakesThe maximum number of officers allowed is 1,300, which was designated when city and county governments merged in 2003. Mutchler said the force is at about 1,040, and could be under 1,000 by the end of August."There’s a lot of things that, as the city grows, they want the police to be involved in, and that just takes a lot of people," Mutchler said. "We’ve never added anything to the ranks. We were hard-pressed to keep up with everything as it was, but now that we’re bleeding off it makes things extremely difficult.”During last year's social justice protests, officers were overworked."They worked basically 12-hour days on the riot line, and we had to hold some officers back to respond to calls for service when we could," he said. "There was a period of time when there was no way officers were going to have time off."Mutchler hopes the process moves faster than in the past given the public cry for police accountability. They started negotiations on time this year "out of necessity," he said.While it would be nice to have a judge rule in their favor prior to the ratification of another contract, he said, he'd prefer having a contract "tomorrow.""We need a collective bargaining agreement so the city and offices understand what our obligations are in the future," he said. Kala Kachmar is an investigative reporter. Reach her at 502-582-4469; kkachmar@courierjournal.com or @NewsQuip on Twitter. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/subscribe.

3 things to know about the Path Forward plan to create a more equitable Louisville

By |2021-07-20T06:47:38-04:00July 20th, 2021|A Path Forward, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee|

In June 2020, following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee at the hands of police and National Guard, respectively, Black leaders in Louisville published A Path Forward for Louisville, a petition that outlines changes and solutions to systemic problems and racial disparities in Louisville.Here are three things to know about the document:What changes did the document call for?A Path Forward called for a variety of changes — from police reform, to support for Black business owners, to revamped educational policies, to more affordable housing in the West End.The document referenced the “long and challenging history LMPD has had with Louisville’s Black community” and sought to divest from policing and invest in other first responders, such as social workers, and also create a more diverse — both in race and gender — police force, among other suggested changes.It also called for JCPS to use newly raised money to “increase equity initiatives” and aimed to create a “pipeline of Black educators.”The document further called for “expanded mental health support.” A Path Forward, a year later:How has Louisville responded to racial justice petition?What financial investment does it seek?The document seeks to create a $50 million Black Community Fund “to begin the process of addressing systemic racism in our community.” Framers had hoped the city would fund the $50 million, but it has not, which Lyndon Pryor, the Louisville Urban League’s Chief Engagement Officer, called “a constant disappointment.”The fund has raised some money from donations, however, which have gone to community learning hubs, a business incubator and affordable housing efforts.Who is does it target as needing to act?The petition was addressed to Metro Council President David James and Mayor Greg Fischer, who said the document has informed his administration’s thinking of city priorities. The document also listed Gov. Andy Beshear, other government leaders, Jefferson County Public Schools, financial institutions and many other organizations as needing to act, as well as “you,” the individual resident.Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League and one of the framers of the document, said the document has been largely well received.“I think there are a lot of organizations that are looking to the document to determine how they move forward,” she said.Hayes Gardner can be reached at hgardner@gannett.com; Twitter: @HayesGardner.

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