Dozens of Louisville, Kentucky cops walked out on the city’s mayor as he prepared to address them during roll call this week in a silent display of their frustration with his leadership, according to a new report.
Video taken Wednesday and obtained by The Louisville Courier-Journal shows Mayor Greg Fischer standing in the middle of a large room as streams of officers and detectives file out without saying a word.
Ryan Nichols, president of the River City Fraternal Order of Police, who was not present at the time, told the paper the message was clear.
“They feel completely unsupported and disrespected by this administration,” Nichols said. “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.”
That same day, Fischer called for a “top-to-bottom” review of the department in the wake of the police-shooting death of EMT Breonna Taylor, who was killed March 13 when Louisville police officers stormed into her apartment during a botched drug raid.
Fischer’s call also follows the death of restaurant owner David McAtee, who was shot by Louisville police and National Guard troops early Monday during a George Floyd protest.
Authorities claim McAtee fired first, but his family disputes that.
At recent demonstrations, Louisville police have deployed pepper bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters, who they say have hurled bricks, fireworks — and even jars filled with gasoline, urine and vomit — at them, the paper reported.
The mayor’s announcement of the review prompted an angry response from the Twitter account for the Fraternal Order of Police, before the tweets were deleted, according to the Courier-Journal.
Nichols told the outlet he didn’t post the tweets and was reviewing their content.
But he told the paper any review of the police department would only point to the dedication of its members.
“If there are any flaws in policies and procedures or voids in leadership, it is a direct result of Mayor Fischer being here the past 10 years and in charge of those things,” Nichols said.
Breonna Taylor would have turned 27 Friday.
“Today, on what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday, my heart is with her family, her friends and the thousands of people who never knew her, but have said her name, again and again, on the streets of our city,” Fischer tweeted.
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