Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but an innocent, unarmed black man was killed by police in America, yesterday.
David McAtee, who was known as a pillar of his community as the owner of YaYa’s BBQ, was shot dead by police in the parking lot of Dino’s Food Mart. His dead body was left outside for over 12 hours.
The Louisville Metro Police Department and National Guard were dispatched to the lot to disperse a crowd of protestors that had gathered. Officials have since claimed that the police and National Guard were fired upon from the crowd and when they returned fire, McAtee was hit and subsequently killed.
An investigation has since discovered, however, that not a single police officer involved had their body cameras switched on, which has led Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to fire Chief of Police Steve Conrad.
“This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated.
“Accordingly, I have relieved Steve Conrad of his duties as chief of Louisville Metro Police Department.
“The two officers that fired their weapons violated our policy by either not wearing or not activating their cameras.
That is completely unacceptable and there is no excuse… We will review the entire incident to determine if there are any other policy violations that occurred. I assure you we will follow up and there will be discipline for failing to utilize our cameras.”
The two LMPD officers that fired into the crowd, Austin Allen and Katie Crews, have been placed on administrative leave pending investigation.
McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, described him to the Courier-Journal as a “community pillar” who had fed police officers for free at YaYa’s.
“David was a friend to many, well known, barbecue man.
“[He] had nurtured so many people in their bellies, in their hearts before, and for him to be caught up in this and for him not to be with us today is a tragedy that is just hard to put into words.”
Yet another completely avoidable tragedy and one we fear will be far from the last during this period of uprising in America.