LMPD Chief Conrad fired amid mounting civil unrest
Officer body cams weren’t activated during shooting of David McAtee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Monday announced that he has fired LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.
Conrad announced last month that he would retire in June, but Fischer made the decision Monday afternoon following yet another shooting death of a black man at the hands of police just hours earlier.
Sunday marked the fourth straight night of citywide protests -- some of them violent through the weekend. And early Monday morning, LMPD and National Guard officers were called to the area of 26th and Broadway to disperse a large crowd that had gathered near Yaya’s BBQ Shack. LMPD said shots were fired at them, and they returned fire, leaving the popular restaurant owner, David McAtee, dead at age 53.
An emotional Fischer announced Monday that there was no officer body camera video of the shooting.
“That lack of institutional failure will not be tolerated,” Fischer said as he announced Conrad’s termination, effective immediately. Robert Schroeder will serve as interim police chief.
“I am saddened that it took this much calamity in our city to remove the chief of police,” said Metro Council President David James, who had to fight back tears at a news conference Monday when addressing the death of his friend, McAtee.
Protesters have been organizing to honor Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old former EMT who was shot dead when LMPD officers served a narcotics warrant at her home in March. The three officers, still employed at LMPD, didn’t have their body cameras on in that case, either.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in addition to the absence of body-camera video in the Taylor and McAtee cases, the fact that the Taylor investigation, approaching three months now, is still open is unacceptable.
“These things, they are not OK,” he said. “They are not OK to a commonwealth and a city and a community that is hurting, that is already concerned about one event where body cameras were not on. It’s not OK ... to a community that needs to heal and certainly see great change.”
The LMPD officers involved in the McAtee shooting were identified as Katie Crews and Austin Allen. Per department protocol, they’ve both been placed on administrative reassignment.
Also Monday, Fischer announced the city’s 9 p.m. curfew will continue through June 8.
Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.