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Louisville Metro Police Is Still Reviewing the Racial Profiling Study

The Louisville Metro Police Department continues to keep mum about the results of a study examining whether officers racially profile when making traffic stops.A police spokesman said in June the study should be “available later this summer.”  In August, a different police spokesman said the study was weeks away from being released.But on Tuesday, LMPD spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said the study is still “not complete.”The study has been complete for weeks and the results were “forwarded to the chief for review,” said Deborah Keeling, the study’s lead researcher and chair of the justice administration department at the University of Louisville.Smiley would not give the specifics about the review process.“I can tell you it’s not available for release,” she said.  “LMPD has not completed its portion of the review.”As of early Tuesday afternoon, LMPD had not responded to an email requesting an expected release date.Chief Steve Conrad requested the study in 2012. When he announced the study would be undertaken, Conrad said he wanted proof of what he believed to be fair police work being done in Louisville."I am thoroughly convinced that the Louisville Metro Police Department does not racially profile,” Conrad said in June 2012. "But I don’t have the information that I need to be able to demonstrate to anybody in the community that what I’m saying is true. I believe it, but I can’t show it."To conduct the study, data on every traffic stop from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013 was collected for use in the study, Keeling said.“Every police officer who submitted a vehicle stops report for that 12 month period is included,” Keeling told WFPL in September.Keeling said it would be unethical for her to speak about the study’s findings before its formal release.  She did say Conrad seemed pleased with the results and she didn’t think LMPD “had any concerns” with the results.She added the study was awaiting review from Mayor Greg Fischer's office.But Chris Poynter, spokesman for the mayor’s office, said he was unaware if the study has been presented to the mayor for review.“The police were reviewing it and it was nearing it being ready, but I don’t know the status. I haven’t checked on it in about a month,” Poynter told WFPL on Tuesday.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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