Kentucky Police Chief Fired Over Fatal Shooting Of Restaurateur David ‘Yaya’ McAtee Who Gave Cops Free Meals
Louisville Metro’s police chief has been fired after the fatal shooting of a local black restaurateur who regularly fed officers for free on their shifts.
David ‘Yaya’ McAtee, 53, was shot and killed on Sunday night, May 31, when police and Kentucky National Guard troops responded to gunfire from a crowd during Black Lives Matter protests.
The barbecue joint owner allegedly fired at officers first, spurring them to retaliate. However, the Louisville Metro Police Department faced intense criticism after Governor Andy Beshear demanded bodycam footage from the incident. However, none was available. Now, police chief Steve Conrad has been sacked as a result.
Federal authorities are set to collaborate with state police in an ‘honest and transparent’ investigation into McAtee’s death, with Louisville’s mayor Greg Fischer dubbing the LMPD’s lack of footage an ‘institutional failure’.
Fischer said, as per The Guardian: ‘This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated. Accordingly, I have relieved Steve Conrad of his duties.’ In the meantime, Deputy Chief Robert Schroeder will fill Conrad’s position.
Speaking from Frankfort, Beshear also said:
This is the entire reason that we have those cameras. And every other officer’s cameras should be reviewed, and if they captured any part of the scene it ought to be released.
The governor added he’d hoped bodycam footage would showcase ‘the truth in a way that spoke for itself, at a time when trust is difficult and people deserve to be able to see and evaluate’.
Fischer added, via CNN:
We lost a wonderful citizen named David McAtee. David was a friend to many, a well-known barbecue man. They’ve nurtured so many people in their bellies and in their hearts before, and for him to be caught up in this, not to be with us today, is a tragedy.
McAtee’s nephew Marvin explained the eatery owner was shot in the chest when he reached outside the door to grab his niece, who was wounded as gunfire erupted. His mother, Odessa Riley, said he was just ‘trying to make an honest dollar to take care of his rent and his bills. And they gonna shoot him down like a dog.’
Riley told WAVE: ‘When you lose a child, a part of you goes along with that child. I just buried my daughter January 22nd. Now my baby son done got killed.’
Police and troops had arrived to disperse crowds at Dino’s Food Mart, just across from McAtee’s YaYa’s BBQ. Protesters had gathered seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot dead in March after narcotics detectives knocked down her door and shot her eight times as part of a raid – no drugs were found.
On Tuesday, June 2, police released security camera footage which, they allege, shows McAtee firing at officers. However, Schroeder said ‘the video does not provide all the answers… why did he fire? Where were police at the time he fired?’
Of McAtee, Schroeder added: ‘Over the years he’s been a good friend to the police officers… frequently making sure our officers had a good meal on their shifts.’
The two LMPD officers involved in the incident, Katie Crews and Austin Allen, have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
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Louisville Metro Police Department