Black Business Owner Shot And Killed By Louisville Officers As They Tried To Break Up A Crowd
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad was fired after David McAtee was shot to death by police on Monday.
June 01, 2020 at 10:24 pm
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has called for an investigation into the death of David McAtee, a Black business owner who was shot and killed by police on Monday morning, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
McAtee was shot after midnight as police and National Guardsmen were trying to break up a crowd near Dino's Food Mart in Louisville.
The shooting capped a weekend of protests in Louisville that ended in tragedy. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday afternoon that the city had fired Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad, who was already slated to resign following criticism of his response to the shooting of Breonna Taylor.
"This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated," Fischer said when asked about the McAtee shooting.
Outraged neighbors are beginning to gather in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville after waking up to news that David "Yaya" McAtee was murdered by the LMPD and National Guard last night outside of his beloved BBQ stand.#DavidMcAtee https://t.co/eNjpdK4SyO pic.twitter.com/Pnq4tQ6Iwv— Midwest People's History (@MPHProject) June 1, 2020
Despite video showing multiple officers and guardsmen in the area during the shooting, Fischer said none of the officers had body camera footage to give a better understanding of what happened to McAtee.
But footage from someone nearby was given to local news outlet WLKY showing officers firing high-powered rifles at unidentified targets near the store.
Beshear said he has been told that no one near the mart was actually protesting. The police came to the parking lot because people had broken the curfew set by the city, WLKY reported.
McAtee was well known in the area and often had his barbeque station set up in the Dino's Food Mart parking lot, according to the Courier-Journal.
Acting Police Chief Rob Schroeder told the newspaper they had identified two officers who were involved in the shooting. Surveillance footage and police radio transmissions have been released, but they provided little insight into why McAtee was shot.
Schroeder told the Courier-Journal that neither officer had their cameras turned on and that "there is no excuse for their clear failure to [follow] our policy."
He implied the officers will be disciplined if any of the officers violated department rules.
Before he was fired, Conrad held a press conference where he explained that police were called to break up a large crowd that had formed in the Dino's Food Mart parking lot.
According to Conrad, someone shot at the police, so they fired back, killing McAtee in the process. He added that police do not know if it was McAtee or someone else who fired the shots.
According to the Courier-Journal, police left McAtee's body on the ground for more than 12 hours as they searched for clues about his death.
As hours passed and McAtee's body remained where he took his last breath, crowds formed, populated by those who knew McAtee.
"Right now, I can't tell you the feeling I have. All I can say -- when a mother loses her child, a piece of you goes along with that child." -- Odessa Riley, #DavidMcAtee's mother #Louisville #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/jdtI4mqcZL— Philmonger (@phillipmbailey) June 1, 2020
More than 100 people showed up at the scene of the crime, telling the Courier-Journal they knew McAtee and ate his food.
WLKY reported that McAtee owned the nearby Yaya's BBQ.
"Right now, we understand he has been removed from outside and he's inside the (nearby) gray building. It's a forensic investigation. He's the primary evidence in the situation, so it may take a few hours before they get that taken care of," said Rev. Steve Frank, president of Louisville's Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, who was seen speaking to McAtee's family members.
Beshear released a statement on Twitter about the situation, calling for an investigation into the shooting.
Statement from Governor Andy Beshear: pic.twitter.com/MyHxcE3Ntn— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) June 1, 2020
“I hope everybody knows that this is a big step and a tough step. It’s not one intended to silence any voice because I want to hear. But I want to make sure, at the end of the day, that we are all safe,” Beshear told news outlets after announcing that he was sending 350 National Guardsmen to Louisville on Saturday.