LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Council members could be waiting a while to get answers from law enforcement regarding how the city handled ongoing protests.

What You Need To Know

  • Acting Police Chief and Public Safety Chief were to speak before a Louisville Metro Council committee

  • Attorneys for Schroeder and Hess said recently filed lawsuits prevented testimony

  • Attorneys for council disagreed

  • Schroeder and Hess walked out of the meeting after being given an ultimatum to testify or leave

This new hurdle in the push for transparency comes as top law enforcement leaders escaped the hot seat this week.


Louisville Metro Police Interim Chief Robert Schroeder and Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess had agreed willingly to testify before the Louisville Metro Council Government Oversight and Audits Committee. Instead, they heard only from Schroeder and Hess' lawyers.

“Chief Hess and Chief Schroeder agreed to voluntarily appear. They too believe it’s the right thing to do. Unfortunately, since we made the commitments to the council to make today’s appearance, a significant development has transpired.” David Guarnieri, Hess' lawyer said.

That development he was referring to is a civil lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the NAACP against LMPD and the city. The lawyers representing Hess and Schroeder argued that pending litigation prevents them from having to testify in an open setting. Instead, they offered to testify about a closed meeting Wednesday.

Lawyers for the committee were of a differing opinion. Committee chair Brent Ackerson (Dist. 26) held firm in demanding public testimony.

“To hide behind that and try to move these proceedings out of the public eye is something I am not in agreement with,” Ackerson said.

This back and forth went on for a while, with the two sides ultimately not agreeing on the interpretation of the law in question. Schroeder's lawyer, Joey Klausing, said he told the committee ahead of time that Hess and Schroeder were not going to talk in an open session given the recent lawsuit.

“Yet today we have these incredulous comments about what are you going to do? What are you going to do? They’ve known the whole time," Klausing said.

With both sides holding firm, the meeting came to a fiery fork in the road. Ackerman told them either to testify publicly or walk out the door. After that, Hess and Schroeder walked out.

That left committee members with dozens of questions and no timeline as to when they may get answers.

"Asking people to come politely is no longer an option," council member Jessica Green (Dist. 1) said.

The committee voted to formally subpoena Hess and Schroeder to compel testimony. It will now be up to a judge to decide.