The relationship between police forces across the country and city mayors have been on edge amid the riots stemming from George Floyd’s death in police custody, and that tension boiled over in Louisville, Ky., during a police roll call with the mayor.
Mayor Greg Fischer stood in the middle of the room on Wednesday and video obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal showed dozens of police officers passing Fischer without any acknowledgment.
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“They feel completely unsupported and disrespected by this administration,” Ryan Nichols, the Fraternal Order of Police president, told the paper. “They feel whatever he was going to say would have been nothing more than lip service, and he does not care about them at all.”
The paper reported that Fischer issued a statement on Thursday saying that police in the city “are suffering insults and assaults from people they are working to protect. They are worried for their families and this city. They are frustrated, and some of them expressed that frustration today. I absolutely respect that. That doesn’t change my appreciation of the work they are doing, as I’ve expressed time and again.”
Maj. David Allen described the horrible conditions that the officers in the city face. He told the paper that officers have been pelted with jars filled with gasoline and some mixed with urine and vomit.
Police officers in the city faced backlash over a deadly shooting Monday morning with David McAtee, a beloved member of the community known as “BBQ Man.” McAtee was fatally shot by police. City officials released a video that they said seems to show it was McAtee who fired the first shot. WLKY.com reported that, even with the video, a lot of questions remain about the shooting, including how close officers were when he fired.
A witness to the shooting said McAtee used to give city police free food.
“He talks to them, they come and hold conversations… I’ve even see one time where one cop brought him food because his granny made it,” Jason Green, the witness, said. “There’s nothing bad to say about this man. He was a good man.”
The report said that two of the officers did not have their body cameras on and the mayor subsequently fired the police chief. Protesters in the city have aslo called for justice for Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black woman who was fatally shot by cops in March, the paper reported.
Fischer called for a full review of the department, which prompted the FOP to tweet, then delete, “Maybe @louisvillemayor should put out an RFP to review his corrupt administration that cares about NO ONE in this city,” one tweet said. “@louisvillemayor may pretend to be compassionate, but he’s allowing good people of all races and neighborhoods to be victimized by violent criminals.”