Mayor orders review of Kentucky city’s police after violence

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Tracey Cox VanDyke prays Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Louisville, Ky., near the intersection where David McAtee was killed Sunday evening. Louisville police say video obtained from security cameras at McAtee’s business and an adjoining business show that McAtee fired a gun as police and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew approached his business. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The city of Louisville, Kentucky, plans to reach out for an independent review of its police department amid protests that erupted over the deaths of black people during encounters with police, the mayor said Wednesday.

Officials plan to hire an outside group to perform a “comprehensive, top-to-bottom” review of the police department, Mayor Greg Fischer said.

The evaluation comes two days after the shooting death of a black man in the city as police and National Guard soldiers tried to enforce a curfew. The police chief was fired after it came to light that officers involved in the shooting failed to activate their body cameras.

The city has been hit by days of protests demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed in her home in Louisville in March. The 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door while attempting to enforce a search warrant. No drugs were found in the home. The demonstrations also erupted over the death of a black man in Minneapolis — George Floyd — in an encounter with police.

Fischer said the outside review will focus on such issues as police training, use of force, bias-free policing, accountability and community engagement. The evaluation will include listening sessions to gather input from a cross-section of the community, the mayor said.

“To make sure that we have the right approach and the right systems in place for law enforcement, and the type of police-community trust and legitimacy that we need, you have to take a look at the hard policies, procedures and structure of our police department to ensure that they align with the values and goals of our entire community,” he said. “Outside perspective to help us make those determinations is needed.”

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