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LMPD release body camera footage showing two December police shootings

A police commander stands at podium.
Giselle Rhoden
/
LPM
LMPD Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey discusses recent police shootings at a press conference on December 22, 2023.

Louisville police officers shot two people this month. On Friday, police officials made public the body camera footage that depicts the shootings.

The two separate police shootings occurred on December 8th and December 14th, respectively.

Both of the men shot by police are still alive, police officials said. One, Kenneth S. Clark, will likely die, said Deputy Chief Paul Humphrey. No officers were injured.

There have been ten police shootings in Louisville this year, Humphrey said.

Police officials held a press conference at 1p Friday with reporters to discuss the shootings.

LMPD has been under intense scrutiny for years following the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year old Black woman gunned down in her home in March 2020. Her killing sparked months of protests and led to promises of sweeping reform within the police department.

Now, the city’s police department is awaiting a consent decree following a scathing report from the U.S. Department of Justice that detailed a pattern of widespread civil rights abuses.

LMPD Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said on Friday that the department has a duty to the public to release body camera footage of police shootings.

“While being as respectful to the families as possible,” she said. “We owe the affected families a thorough investigation.”

Both shootings from December are still under investigation.

The shooting that occurred on December 8 near Churchill Downs followed a traffic stop. The body camera footage shows Marvin Smith run from his vehicle after officers attempted to pull him over. Sergeant John Arnwine yelled at Smith several times to drop the handgun, but he didn’t.

Instead, Smith continued to run behind Wagner’s Pharmacy.

Arnwine shot him several times, the footage shows. Smith survived and was taken to University of Louisville hospital and then released to the Metro Corrections Department. Police charged him with drug trafficking, wanton endangerment, fleeing and evading police and receiving stolen property.

He’s due in court later this month.

The December 14th shooting occurred in the Portland neighborhood.

Police were called to a home on 25th Street after a 911 call indicated there was a domestic violence incident. On scene, police said a man, Kenneth S. Clark, was holding three other people hostage.

As the police attempted to enter the room with the hostage situation, Clark shot another man, John Robinson, and then the police started shooting, the footage shows. Police shot Clark, but officials on Friday said it is unclear if the shot to the head, which he is not expected to recover from, was caused by the police or was self-inflicted.

“From my experience, this was an unwinnable situation for those officers,” Humphrey said.

Investigative Reporter Lily Burris is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Email Lily at lburris@lpm.org.