LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Yesterday, Mayor Greg Fischer announced several changes he's pursuing in regard to police reform, including Kentucky State Police (KSP) investigating Louisville Metro Police Department officer-involved shootings that kill or injure someone.
What You Need To Know
- Fischer addresses police reform, the Breonna Taylor case
- The mayor discusses changes he would like to see, including KSP investigating LMPD officer-involved shootings that kill or injure someone
- Fischer also wants other changes, such as establishing Office of Inspector General, changing some state laws
- Fischer acknowledges actions his office has already taken
The mayor also addressed questions and concerns about the Breonna Taylor case, describing recent months as challenging and addressing "how we got here, and where do we go from here."
“Breonna’s tragic death is an open wound for Breonna’s family, for protestors and their families, for me and my family, for our entire city, and for all of us as human beings,” Fischer said. “And it’s especially painful for our Black community, as I’ve heard, seen and felt up close, in talking with protesters individually and in groups – people who feel the impact of Breonna’s death in a raw and visceral way. I will always be grateful for the honesty and directness of these often heartbreaking conversations. I am listening and learning from these conversations."
Fischer acknowledged frustration over the slow pace of the Taylor case, saying he has no control or influence over the process.
“And I am as frustrated as you are by how long it’s all taking," said Fischer.
The mayor outlined some steps he has taken in the meantime, including:
- Signing Breonna’s Law, banning no-knock warrants and mandating the use of body cameras for officers serving search warrants;
- Starting the search for new leadership at LMPD and beginning the search for a new Police Chief;
- Hiring an independent firm to conduct a top-to-bottom review of LMPD;
- Convening an independent civilian police review board;
- and strengthening the rules governing an officer’s duty to intervene.
“These are substantial changes, but we know they are not enough,” he said. He also outlined changes he is pursuing, including:
- Contacting the KSP to conduct an investigation after an officer-inolved shooting leaves someone dead or injured;
- Looking to change state law KRS 67c that regulates what the mayor can say about investigations by LMPD's Public Integrity Unit;
- Seeking change to state law that would strengthen civilian oversight of police investigations;
- Establishing an Office of Inspector General to support the Civilian Review Board;
- and working with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) “to find ways to strike the right balance between protecting an officers’ right to due process and providing the public with greater transparency and accountability, which are essential to police-community legitimacy and public safety."
Fischer said that while these reforms are necessary, broader changes are needed to address systemic problems. He also acknowledged Louisville residents who are frustrated with his decisions
"I understand that and I hear you. What I ask of you now is to acknowledge that what we’re facing is a choice, and it’s not about Black vs white or protesters vs police. It’s about the past vs the future," said Fischer. "One we can’t change, and one we can – if we work together."