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Under New LMPD Policy, Officers Have 'Duty To Intervene' In Cases Of Excessive Force

Louisville Metro Police Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said the LMPD will implement a policy change emphasizing an officer's duty to intervene in the event he or she sees a fellow officer using excessive force.

"That's not who we are as police officers," Schroeder said.

In announcing the new policy, Schroeder invoked the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes while other officers stood by.

He said officers will now be expected to intervene verbally or physically, particularly in a case like Floyd's. Schroeder said failure to intervene would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether an officer would be disciplined.

At the press conference, Mayor Greg Fischer reiterated a number of changes that have come recently to the LMPD: chief among them, no-knock warrants were suspended by LMPD and then banned by Louisville Metro Council, and all officers are now required to wear body cameras while executing search warrants.

Fischer also responded to Attorney General Daniel Cameron's press conference earlier in the day, when Cameron referred to incremental material he was receiving from LMPD for the AG's independent investigation into Breonna Taylor's shooting death.

Fischer said Cameron's office received a "substantially complete" file four weeks and 1 day ago, and that any incremental information coming to him right now is information he's requesting.

Taylor was 26 when she was killed on March 13 by plainclothes LMPD officers executing a no-knock search warrant at her home.

Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot that struck an officer in the leg, according to police. Walker said he believed they were getting robbed. The officers returned fire and killed Taylor.

LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, have been on paid leave since the shooting.

Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault. But Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine announced in May that he would drop the charges, pending further investigation by the FBI and Kentucky Attorney General’s office.

Kate Howard is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

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