Louisville

Roberto Roldan | WFPL

The former Louisville officer who the FBI said fired the shot that killed Breonna Taylor is now fighting for his job back.

Myles Cosgrove was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in January for failing to properly identify a threat when he fired his gun during a middle of the night raid on Taylor’s apartment. Cosgrove was one of three officers who fired their guns as they attempted to enter her home.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one bullet at police, saying later he thought they were intruders. They returned 32 shots. Cosgrove fired half of those, including two that struck Taylor. An FBI ballistics report said Cosgrove’s bullets killed her.

Cosgrove is now appealing his termination to the Metro Louisville Police Merit Board, a seven-member body of civilians and officers that reviews discipline and employment decisions. The board could decide to uphold his firing or overturn it and issue a new punishment, if necessary.

screenshot via WFPL

 Louisville Metro is in favor of a federal study into the historical and lingering impacts of slavery in the United States and reparations for Black descendants of slavery. 

Mayor Greg Fischer signed a resolution Thursday affirming that position and throwing the city’s support behind Congressional legislation. 

HR 40 would create a commission to “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.” 

Council Member Jecorey Arthur, a Democrat who represents District 4, co-sponsored the resolution.  

During a press conference, he said this kind of resolution is “long overdue.”

Breya Jones

 A new program aimed at diverting some 911 calls away from a police response and to a mobile crisis response team is closer to becoming reality. 

In February, Louisville Metro Council approved funding for research into non-police response models across the country. 

The University of Louisville’s Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky and Spalding University worked to research and develop the program’s model.

“Based on this work, we recommend a multilayer model for Louisville to include public and private partners to operate synchronously as a system connecting people in crisis to the resources they need to feel and be safe,” said Susan Buchino, the assistant director of Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky at U of L, at a press conference Wednesday.

Roberto Roldan | WFPL

Louisville Metro workers repainted the parallel yellow lines outside the doors to the downtown EMW Women’s Surgical Center to be more narrow Wednesday afternoon, a day after they initially marked out a new buffer zone where anti-abortion protesters will not be allowed to stand. 

Hours after the first installation, the lines were covered by gray paint, raising concerns of vandalism. However, city officials said they covered up the zone because it was improperly measured on Tuesday. 

The 10-foot buffer zone outside of the surgical center, one of only two abortion clinics in Kentucky, became possible after Metro Council approved a measure in late May. The work of marking out the buffer zone was put on hold when anti-abortion advocates and self-described sidewalk ministers sued the city in June. Then a federal judge ruled last week that the city could move forward with implementation while the lawsuit advances.

Louisville Passes 100,000 Total COVID-19 Cases

Sep 7, 2021
Fusion Medical Animation

Louisville passed 100,000 total COVID-19 cases over the weekend. That means that nearly one in seven residents has contracted the virus at some point in the pandemic, according to health officials who spoke at a Tuesday press briefing.

This comes as the city continues to experience high numbers of coronavirus fueled by the delta variant. 

Current numbers for the city, including cases, hospitalizations, people in the ICU and on ventilators, are close to the rates recorded during the peak of the last surge.

Although this week’s daily incidence rate is slightly lower than last week’s, the city remains in the red level, and health officials are unsure if this dip in numbers will last.

Chris Jenner

A former teacher at a Louisville Catholic school says the archdiocese fired her because she had sex outside of marriage. 

Former St. Andrew Academy middle school teacher Sarah Syring is suing the Archdiocese of Louisville. According to the complaint, after Syring told her administrators she was pregnant last fall, they gave her a choice: resign or marry the child’s father. She declined to do either, and the archdiocese fired her, saying she had broken provisions in the employee handbook. 

“I was shocked,” Syring said. “I just had a nice rapport with so many of those kids, and—man—I cried. I cried a lot.”

Syring is alleging gender discrimination. She says she, a woman, was fired for having extramarital sex. Meanwhile, she says, the archdiocese was aware of an male employee who had extramarital sex, but did not terminate him.

Jerry McBroom

The state will not bring criminal charges against the Kentucky National Guard soldiers and Louisville Metro Police Department officers who shot at and killed David McAtee last June, Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine announced Tuesday. 

In a statement, Wine said National Guard soldiers Andrew Kroszkewicz and Matthew Roark, along with LMPD officers Katie Crews and Austin Allen, acted in self defense when they fired at McAtee, who fired first. Wine did not bring the case to a grand jury.

Steve Romines, the civil rights attorney representing McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, in a lawsuit against the police and National Guard, said police are rarely held accountable by the prosecutors they often work “hand in hand with every day.”

Jeff Young

Federal investigators are collecting a catalogue of internal documents and records that would detail virtually every recorded interaction between Louisville Metro Police officers and citizens as they set the stage for a deep examination of the beleaguered agency.  

The day after U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland announced the investigation last month, attorneys with the United States Department of Justice and the local United States Attorney’s Office asked the city for particulars about police databases and files that detail when officers stop and search residents, when they use force, disciplinary measures and policy documents — including those “not presently made available to the public,” according to documents obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting through an open records request. 

Investigators will be examining union contracts, agreements with other government agencies and behavioral health providers, organizational charts, employee rosters, pay scales, training documents, and detailed descriptions of each division and specialized unit within the department, according to the DOJ’s request.

screenshot from news conference

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says city leaders across the country need to encourage police to de-escalate during protests, work with protest leaders and be patient amid drawn-out demonstrations.

Fischer made the comments during a virtual panel hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a national organization he leads as president. The remarks come nearly a year after the first protests sparked by the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Protesters have consistently criticized Fischer for the aggressive police crackdown on demonstrations and accused him of not doing enough to rectify the troubled police department.

Updated May 1, 2021 at 10:03 PM ET

Medina Spirit overcame tough odds to win the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, giving trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh Derby victory.

Medina Spirit, mounted by jockey John Velazquez, broke out of the gate with an early lead and held fast as the race met the final stretch.

Ryan Van Velzer

“It’s just a blessing that somebody is finally listening,” said Denorver “Dee” Garrett, a 29-year-old Louisville protester, fighting back tears. “That somebody is finally hearing our voices — after over a year.”

Garrett was speaking in Jefferson Square Park on Monday afternoon, not far from where an LMPD officer last week punched him in the face multiple times while police officers restrained him on the ground during an arrest. Garrett’s sense of relief follows news that the U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the Louisville Metro Police Department and Louisville Metro Government. 

The investigation means the highest levels of the federal government will soon focus their scrutiny on Louisville.

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A Louisville police officer faces an internal investigation after an onlooker caught him on video punching a Black man repeatedly in the face, after the man was restrained and on the ground.

LMPD chief Erika Shields said in a statement the officer’s behavior “raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”

She did not name the officer. The Professional Standards Unit investigation, which looks at violations of department policies, will focus on the officer’s conduct as well as the on-scene supervisor, Shields said. She did not name the supervisor.

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J. Tyler Franklin

Louisville will clear out homeless camps ahead of the Kentucky Derby again.

Officials posted notices that camps on Liberty Street downtown near Wayside Christian Mission, which provides services for the homeless, and Adair Street near the airport will be dismantled on April 15.

John Miles, veteran coordinator for the Louisville Metro’s Office of Resilience and Community Services, said during a meeting of the city’s Homeless Encampment Taskforce Wednesday the camps need to come down for safety reasons.

“We definitely look at severity, the health risk factor, not only for our clients, but our pedestrians who travel underneath those overpasses,” Miles said.

Amina Elahi | WFPL

Kenneth Walker cannot be charged again for allegedly shooting a police officer the night his girlfriend, Breonna Taylor, was killed by police in a middle-of-the-night raid.

On Monday, Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens ordered the case against Walker be dismissed with prejudice. That means Walker cannot be charged again for his actions on March 13, 2020.

That decision came days after prosecutors indicated they would not pursue any such charges. Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said as much in a March 4, 2021, filing.

Taylor’s family is planning a rally for accountability at Jefferson Square Park this weekend. That space, nicknamed “Breonna Square” and “Injustice Square” became the center of racial justice protests in Louisville in 2020 that followed Taylor’s killing.

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