UPDATED 8:54 AM PT — Tuesday, June 2, 2020
The FBI is investigating officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Louisville man after body-cam footage of the incident could not be produced. David McAtee was fatally shot near his shop early Monday morning amid protests about another fatal shooting.
“I think it’s very, very clear that many people do not trust the police,” stated now former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) Chief Steve Conrad. “That is an issue that we are going to have to work on and work through for a long time.”
The National Guard and police officers with the LMPD responded to a large gathering late Sunday night. Demonstrators were gathering in a parking lot near McAtee’s barbecue restaurant. They were protesting the death of 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor. She was reportedly shot eight times by narcotics detectives who were serving a search warrant.
Officers claimed protesters shot at them from the crowd, which prompted them to return fire. McAtee was fatally shot during the incident and was left at the scene for 12 hours.
“We’ll get to the truth, but what I can tell people is I want to make sure that we get to the truth and I hope people have seen that throughout, whether it’s dealing with COVID or the rest, I’m willing to admit when the wrong things happen,” stated Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D). “And I’m willing to try to live up to it and to make change.”
When asked by Gov. Beshear to produce the body-cam footage, the responding officers couldn’t and claimed they had none to turnover. The department said the officers either turned off their body cams or failed to put them on before going out to the call.
Chief Conrad was subsequently fired after already being under fire for handling Taylor’s death.
“We clearly hear the community this week, we know that there are many trust issues we need to address,” said Robert Schroeder, now Acting Chief of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. “We have tried to further our transparency of our department over the last few years and I hope you will see we are continuing to work to meet your expectations.”
Meanwhile, the two LMPD officers involved have been put on administrative leave pending the investigation. Federal, state and local agencies are conducting separate investigations into LMPD and the National Guard.