police

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.

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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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is ordering the use of body cameras by all Indiana State Police troopers by spring 2021.

The announcement came Tuesday during a speech by Holcomb that focused on racial justice. He said the coronavirus pandemic has worsened a number of inequities faced by Black Hoosiers.

“It’s in this environment that we’ve seen a number of unarmed Black men and women killed, culminating in an officer kneeling on the neck of Mr. George Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds, until his last breath was snuffed out,” Holcomb said.

During the speech, the Republican governor highlighted local governments from across the state that have already enacted body camera policies. Among the cities mentioned was Jeffersonville.

Amid the tumult over police brutality allegations across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to reexamine the much-criticized, modern-day legal doctrine created by judges that has shielded police and other government officials from lawsuits over their conduct.

In an unsigned order, the court declined to hear cases seeking reexamination of the doctrine of "qualified immunity." Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the "qualified immunity doctrine appears to stray from the statutory text."

It takes the votes of four justices to grant review of a case.

Colin Jackson

A midday protest against racism and police drew a crowd of around 180 people Wednesday morning in Bowling Green.

It was the latest in what has now been six straight days of peaceful gatherings in the city following last week's death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man who died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The video-taped incident, along with the police-related death of Louisville Emergency Medical Technician Breonna Taylor, and the shooting of Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery, have spurred protests nationwide.

Lisa Autry

The Bowling Green Police Department has won approval to open its own training academy.  

Recruits in Warren and surrounding counties currently have to travel to the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond, and be away from their families during weekdays for five months. 

Police Chief Doug Hawkins says the local academy will offer curriculum and training that’s specific to Bowling Green.


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The Trump administration’s plan to lift the ban on giving certain types of military equipment to local governments is unlikely to have major consequences in Kentucky and other states.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy change last Monday, telling members of the Fraternal Order of Police that the move would “ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence and lawlessness to become the new normal.”

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Kentucky law enforcement would have to follow new guidelines while conducting suspect lineups under a bill proposed in the General Assembly.

The legislation would tweak police procedure to try and prevent a witness’ memory of a suspect or incident from being “contaminated” by suggestion.

Jennifer Thompson, a rape survivor who misidentified her perpetrator in 1984, said it’s easy to misremember events.

“We don’t record things the way we think we record them. Our brains are so malleable, they’re so prone to suggestion. It isn’t hard to plant false information into a person’s memory,” Thompson said.

“We do it all the time, either innocently or intentionally.”

The bill would require police departments to follow four new guidelines:

Body Cameras Not Likely For Kentucky State Police

Jan 19, 2016
WFPL News

Police departments across Kentucky began outfitting officers with body cameras last year, but don’t expect state troopers to join their ranks anytime soon.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said he supports the idea of equipping the agency’s 1,000 troopers with the cameras, but the cost to do so is too steep.

The state’s most recent budget resulted in a 2.5 percent cut for state police, state budget documents show. With those constraints, body cameras are not a top priority for state police, Brewer said.

“My concern has to be providing the best tools for our troopers to respond in a safe manner — and that’s cars and that’s gasoline,” he told WFPL News after a recent appearance in Louisville.

State police troopers drive nearly 30 million miles each year, Brewer said.

John Null, WKMS

Kentucky State Police troopers are not using body cameras yet, but some western Kentucky law enforcement agencies have already embraced the technology.

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department has been using body cameras for years. So has the Cadiz Police Department. But in March, all nine CPD officers got an upgrade with the latest TASER AXON body cameras. CPD Major Duncan Wiggins says the new cameras cost around $400 each.

“They have a wider view,” Wiggins said. “They also are a low-lux camera, which doesn’t mean they can see at night, but they see much like the human eye sees. So if a person is using a flashlight, it picks up really well. Also, the audio is impeccable.”

The cameras require a server to store the video that officers upload at the end of their shift. Wiggins said the server cost the city under $1,000.

CPD public information officer Scott Brown said that he’s a fan of the cameras.