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More Families Of People Killed By LMPD Officers Demand Answers

The family of Shelby Sinclair Gazaway.
The family of Shelby Sinclair Gazaway.

On the 11th day of demonstrations following the death of Breonna Taylor here in Louisville, and  George Floyd in Minneapolis, two families gathered in the Portland neighborhood seeking justice for others who were killed by police.

Among them was the family of Shelby Sinclair Gazaway, who was killed by Louisville Metro Police Department officers responding to a fight inside a Kroger last November 7. Gazaway’s mother, Semone Stephenson Carter, said they feel for Breonna Taylor’s family and understand their grief.

“Justice needs to be served not only for her family but for everybody else that has been victims to LMPD,” Stephenson Carter said.

They gathered outside the Kroger on 35th Street where Gazaway killed. He was 32 years old.

Police say Gazaway fired first, according to news reports from last year. Gazaway’s family questions that version of events, but says LMPD would not have used deadly force if Gazaway was white.

Now more than 7 months after Gazaway was killed, Stephenson says the family is still trying to get unedited security and body camera footage to get more information about what happened that night.

“We’re demanding answers, we want answers. We deserve answers,” Stephenson Carter said. “Just like everybody else, we want closure.”

Natalie Malone was also there to speak about her son, De’mon’jhea Jordan, who was killed by LMPD officers in 2018. Jordan was approached as a suspect in the armed robbery of a Metro PCS store in Louisville, when police say he exchanged gunfire with officers, according to news reports.

Malone said her son, who was 21 years old, was not the first black man to be killed by the police, and would not be the last.

“My heart goes out to Breonna and her family, George and his family, and all the ones who have lost their lives,” Malone said. “If we all come together and do what we’re doing right now, guess what? Justice will prevail.”

Jared Bennett is an investigative reporter and deputy editor for LPM. Email Jared at jbennett@lpm.org.

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