On Monday (8/3), the Metro Council Government Oversight Committee, on which I serve, will begin our investigation into the aftermath of the killing of Breonna Taylor, including: the decision to send LMPD and the National Guard into West Louisville that resulted in the killing of David McAtee; the police’s use of tear gas and other force against protesters and journalists; and other actions and inaction surrounding the protests in our city.
Following prosecutorial decisions by the Kentucky Attorney General and the FBI, we will investigate the circumstances leading up to and culminating in Breonna’s shooting, as well. (We have been advised to steer clear of these matters until such time as criminal charges are brought, so as not to impact the state and federal investigations.)
The Special Meeting of the Government Oversight Committee will start at 2:30pm and may last up to four hours. Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess and Interim Chief of the LMPD Robert Schroeder will be in attendance to answer questions. Here are a few of mine:
If neither state law nor the collective bargaining agreement stopped you (Mayor Greg Fischer) from terminating Detective Brent Hankinson based upon your review of the Public Integrity Unit investigation file, then what is stopping you from terminating Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sergeant Jon Mattingly upon the same bases? Will you commit to reviewing the file again and taking all appropriate action?
When, where and how, specifically, will you release the PIU investigation (Case No 20-019)? The public deserves to review the records as soon as possible.
The Mayor terminated LMPD Chief Steve Conrad because Officers Katie Crews and Allen Austin, who fired shots at David McAtee, did not have their body cameras turned on. You, Chief, stated there "will be discipline" for failing to use cameras, "that is completely unacceptable," and "there is no excuse for their clear failure to (follow) our policy." Why, then, haven’t you terminated the two officers for violations of Standard Operating Procedure 4.31.6 [Wearable Video System/Body-Worn Camera] Procedures and/or other department policies? What is the status of the Officer Crews Professional Standards Unit investigation?
How many other PIU or PSU investigations has LMPD opened since May relating to the protests, including David McAtee’s case, and what is the status of each case? When, where and how will you release them all?
Attorney General Daniel Cameron has said he has no timeline for Breonna Taylor’s case. Neither the Mayor nor the Metro Council can force him to charge and arrest the officers involved in her shooting. (Only Senator Mitch McConnell can do that. Kidding. Sorta.) However, it is the City of Louisville’s solemn responsibility, by and through its elected officials, to hold ourselves and our employees accountable for the failures and misdeeds that caused Breonna’s and David’s and Tyler Gerth’s deaths and so much hurt, anger and destruction. Only then can we start to heal and confront Injustice, together.
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