LOUISVILLE, KY – Today, Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad announced that he will retire on June 30, after mounting pressure from grassroots organizers, conscious media and elected officials.
Pulitzer prize winner and Courier-Journal political writer Phillip Bailey reported that multiple sources told him Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was given an “ultimatum which included the threat to impeachment if the chief was not pushed out due to the #BreonnaTaylor shooting.”
While the announcement of Chief Conrad’s forced resignation by Mayor Fischer checks off one of the demands by the Taylor Family, activists on the ground and people familiar with how shady law enforcement can be know this is only the beginning. Keturah Herron, a Louisville activist, who is working closely with the family and activists on the ground, wants to ensure that Breonna Taylor and her family remain at the forefront of this ongoing investigation.
“First, we honor the life of Breonna Taylor and her family. I am delighted that Chief Conrad is resigning. The tragic murder of Breonna Taylor cast a spotlight on [Louisville Metro] police department with not clear guidance, direction or leadership. She goes on to say, “However, we must not forget, the resignation of Chief Conrad is like cutting the head off a hydra. You cut off one and two more grow back. It is imperative that we continue to fight against racist policies that impact our communities. We remain diligent in fighting against no knock warrants as we continue seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, Kenneth Walker, with the ultimate goal of having a fair and equitable police department that is rooted in protecting and serving not just some of Louisville but all of Louisville.”
Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee convened an emergency town hall to address the public outcries for answers involving the shooting of Breonna Taylor and LMPD policies on “no knock” warrants. Listening in were also attorneys for the Taylor family, Lonita Baker and Ben Crump, the Fraternal Order of Police, the media and community members to get a better understanding of next steps. Councilwoman Jessica Green, Chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, made it known that “It is important for the committee to understand this tragic situation as it has gained national attention and many questions are being asked.” No question, we want answers and to have a larger conversation concerning the current laws and policies that are issuing licenses to kill our innocent brothers and sisters.
But what made headlines and ruffled the feathers of Louisville police FOP president Ryan Nichols was Councilwoman Green’s statement toward the end of the town hall. In so many words, she called Kenneth Walker a “hero” for standing his ground and protecting his partner and home from what he thought to be intruders . She also went on the record requesting that the attempted murder charge filed against Kenneth Walker be dismissed and be released from home confinement. Almost immediately after the town hall ended, Councilwoman Green began to receive death threats because she stood up for what is right in the face of racism.
Her supporters are not backing down either. Dr. Ricky Jones, a professor at the University of Louisville, let everyone know in a Facebook post that “I/We got your back!”
Damn right WE do!
Elected officials and our people on the ground need support. Very rarely do you see elected officials spend political capital that takes on the entire FOP. But that’s exactly what happened with Sister Councilwoman Green. It’s time to fight like people’s lives depend on it, because it does.
Share this article and keep applying pressure that will change these racially charged policies and laws, free Kenneth Walker, and bring home justice for Breonna Taylor and her family.