Louisville Mayor: No Body Camera Footage Of Shooting And Police Chief Out

Jun 1, 2020

Steve Conrad is out as Chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Credit Kyeland Jackson

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday that Police Chief Steve Conrad has been relieved of the command of the Louisville Metro Police Department in the wake of this morning’s shooting by LMPD and National Guard.

Fischer also said the LMPD officers on the scene did not activate their body cameras.

Assistant Chief Robert Schroeder is now in command, Fischer said. Conrad had already announced that he would retire at the end of June.

The city’s curfew has been extended until June 8 “just to keep peace in the city, safety for people, and so people can be at home off the streets.”

Schroeder says the officers who didn’t activate their body cameras were violating policy and will be disciplined. They don’t know yet who shot David McAtee, a 53-year-old Black man who sold barbeque at the intersection and who Fischer described as someone who got “caught up in this.”

The two LMPD officers who fired their weapons are on administrative leave pending an investigation, Schroeder said.  The officers violated LMPD policy by not wearing or activating body cameras and will be disciplined, he said.

Since body camera footage isn’t available, they released surveillance video and will release radio audio of the incident.

Silent video from a telephone pole camera shows lots of foot and car traffic as National Guard trucks pulled up just before 12:15 a.m. The troops walk toward food market, not in formation, and suddenly they’re crouching, weapons drawn.

Fischer also addressed the Breonna Taylor case and said he knows some people want the officers who fired on Taylor to be fired. He said it’s not up to the mayor and invited State. Rep Charles Booker, an attorney, to speak.

“Our community is hurting and I want to acknowledge your hurt,” said Booker, who represents part of the West End and lives about a mile from the gas station where McAtee was killed. “This trauma never really seems to go away.”

Booker said state law governs how law enforcement operates, and the law requires that officers cannot be fired until an investigation is complete.

Booker said he believes the officers who shot Taylor should be relieved of their jobs — “Breonna Taylor was in her home. In her sanctuary… To lose your job when someone has died at your hands? Small price to pay,” he said.

But the investigation must be completed first, Booker said, so he encourages that the investigation be wrapped as soon as possible.