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Forum on Monday to Focus on Louisville Police, Community

A public meeting on Monday afternoon intends to address two separate events associated with Louisville Metro Police and the local police union.

Earlier this month, a Louisville police officer shot and killed a 35-year-old Sudanese immigrant near Fourth and Oak Street in Old Louisville. The event sparked criticism of police and police tactics.

In response, Metro Councilman David James, a Democrat whose district includes Old Louisville,  will host a public forum to discuss the societal issues that have led to tensions between law enforcement and some in the city.

"It's really just an opportunity for the community to talk to the issues that are around Oak Street," he said. "How we deal with people that maybe have alcohol abuse or mental illness or homelessness (issues)."

In addition, James said he encourages residents attending the meeting to be open about concerns regarding safety or police.

"Let's not live in a state of misinformation, rumor or fear. Let's hear any true concerns about how we can make our community safer and better," he said in a news release.

Chief Steve Conrad will attend the forum, as well as representatives from Catholic Charities of Kentucky, the Coalition for the Homeless, local neighborhood associations and other members of Metro Council.

That event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church on St. Catherine Street.

Another public forum scheduled for Monday aimed to address a letter sent late last week from the local police union president, David Mutchler, who stirred controversy following an open letter addressing, in part, the department's critics. But the organizer, the Louisville Metro Human Rights Commission, called it off because Mutchler had not responded to the invitation.

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.