LOUISVILLE, Ky.Â â€” Following six straight nights of protests over the fatalÂ shooting of an unarmed African American woman, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday announced several initiatives regarding the city’s police department, including a “top-to-bottom” review.
The review, to be conducted by an external, independent firm, will focus on a number of areasÂ â€”Â including training, bias-free policing and accountabilityÂ â€” after police executing a search warrant shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old ER technician in her home on March 13.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he did not hear officers announce themselves and fired a single shot, striking Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the femoral artery. Officers responded, hitting Taylor at least eight times, and she died in the hallway of her apartment.
In conjunction with Louisville Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess and interim LMPDÂ Chief Rob Schroeder, Fischer said the city is “issuing a request for proposalÂ for a comprehensive, top-to-bottom review” of the department.
The firm also will identify obstacles to implementing changes to help the police department improve in various facets.
“This proposal requires a successful firm to conduct listening sessions to ensure substantial interactions with community members, interest groups, prosecutors, defense attorneys, police personnel, people that feel and that are most aggrieved by public safety activity,” Fischer said.
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He added that it’sÂ essential that residentsÂ “feel ownership in this process” and are part of the review.Â Â
The city’s Fraternal Order of Police, which has had a contentious relationship with Fischer, quickly expressed frustration with the mayor on Twitter.
“Maybe @louisvillemayorÂ should put out an RFP to review his corrupt administration that cares about NO ONE in this city,” the River City FOP said in a now-deleted tweet.Â “@louisvillemayor may pretend to be compassionate, but heâ€™s allowing good people of all races and neighborhoods to be victimized by violent criminals.
“Last night as officers tried to respond to those calling for help, they were shot at, again and again,” the police union wrote in a follow-up of another now-deleted tweet.Â “Police are here to help & WANT to help but cannot do that when they are vilified by their own mayor! More would trust us if they werenâ€™t being told not to by @louisvillemayor.”
Also Wednesday, Fischer announced the Police Executive Research Forum would be charged with leadingÂ the city’s search for a chief to replace Steve Conrad, who was fired MondayÂ by the mayor.Â
“They understand the roles, responsibilities and experiences required of a successful law enforcement chief executive,” Fischer said.
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The city will also be working with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit to distribute a survey to residents so they can state their priorities in a new police chief, and there will be listening sessions as well.
Fischer fired Conrad after it was learnedÂ that the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of David McAtee, the owner of a West End barbecue business, did not have their body cameras activated at the time of the incident. McAtee’s deathÂ came after a night of protests following a curfew enacted by the mayor.
Conrad was planningÂ to retireÂ at the end of the month after serving as chief since 2012.
Contact Ben Tobin at firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ andÂ 502-582-4181 or follow on Twitter @TobinBen.
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