Police and Air National Guard forces during a protest in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.Bryan Woolston / Reuters

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad was “relieved of command” in the wake of the shooting of local business owner David McAtee on Monday after it was learned that the police officers involved “had not activated their body cameras.”

McAtee was shot after police and the National Guard were “sent to clear a large crowd in a parking lot around 12:15 a.m.” There were no protests taking place at the location at the time. Conrad stated that officers “at some point were shot at,” and McAtee was shot when they returned fire. On Tuesday, audio-less footage was released that allegedly showed Mcatee firing a gun before being shot.

Conrad was already set to retire in June due to “national scrutiny over the death of Breonna Taylor” in March. Taylor was killed in her home by narcotics detectives attempting to enforce a search warrant, though no drugs were found. Following the shooting death, the Louisville Metro Police Department announced that it would “require all sworn officers to wear body cameras” and was changing how search warrants were carried out.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer  called the non-activation of body cameras an “institutional failure” that “will not be tolerated.” U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman stated on Twitter that the Louisville FBI, Kentucky State Police, and U.S. Attorney’s Office will be investigating the shooting death of McAtee.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Louisville police chief fired after officers kill unarmed man at protest – Fox News – 6/1/2020
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has been fired following the killing of an unarmed black man early Monday morning after a weekend of contentious protests. […] Conrad already had agreed to resign from his position by the end of June after the controversial police killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician who was killed in her own home by Louisville Metro Police Department [LMPD] officers.

LMPD officer in fatal shooting of David McAtee had mocked protester on Facebook – The Courier-Journal – 6/2/2020
Officer Katie Crews, who was placed on administrative reassignment Monday in the fatal shooting, posted a Courier Journal photo of a protester across from her and said “I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt.” A screenshot of the post has circulated on social media sites.

FBI, state, local officials investigate fatal Louisville shooting after officers had no body-cam footage – One America News Network – 6/2/2020
“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.”

Louisville Police Left David McAtee’s Body on the Street for 12 Hours – The Intercept – 6/2/2020
“Even if they had some sort of legitimate, procedural reason for [keeping the body at the scene] you’d think they would have in mind the trauma that they’re inflicting when they do that, especially having experienced that with the Mike Brown case in Ferguson,” Bell said. “That’s the first thing I thought, that this was terrorism… because it’s terrorizing, even if they don’t intentionally try to do it.”

David McAtee Was Shot & Killed By Police During Protests. He Spent Years Feeding Cops For Free. – Refinery29 – 6/2/2020
Reports indicate that hundreds gathered in the Dino’s parking lot — which is next door to McAtee’s BBQ restaurant — when police arrived to “break up” the crowd. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a Monday statement that the LMPD and the National Guard were “fired upon” and, as a result, “returned fire, resulting in a death.”

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Ava DuVernay on Twitter, 6/2/2020: I’m told #BlackOutTuesday is for white folks to learn/talk about racism? New shooting of a Black man for your agenda. David McAtee was killed by Louisville cops Sunday night. At noon Monday, his body was still there. Left dead in the street for 12 hours. https://t.co/5W4lHt323P

Jason Call for Congress WA02 on Twitter, 6/2/2020: We need to end militarized policing. Louisville police chief needs to be fired and held accountable for the actions of the officers who killed #DavidMcAtee

Hayley Minogue on Twitter, 6/2/2020: Interm LMPD Chief is about to release surveillance video from the #DavidMcAtee shooting, which they describe as showing McAtee shooting a gun before his fatal shooting.

Morgan Watkins on Twitter, 6/2/2020: Fischer says video footage was obtained from cameras within and outside David McAtee’s BBQ business. LMPD’s new acting chief says it appears to show McAtee firing a gun outside his biz. Reminder: LMPD officers’ body cams weren’t on during the shooting in which McAtee was killed.

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