Protest leader threatens ‘Cold War’ after Louisville Police officers get $10K annual raises

Protest leader threatens ‘Cold War’ after Louisville Police
officers get $10K annual raises 1

LOUISVILLE, KY – After years of negotiating between the Louisville Fraternal Order of Police association and the City of Louisville, an agreement had been reached on Nov. 5 that affords police officers attractive annual raises, while ending equipment allowances.  

However, those behind the protests related to Breonna Taylor’s death seem to be fuming over police officers getting annual raises. One of the protest leaders even said that when the summer rioting is over, protesters are planning to enter what they call the “Cold War.”

The recent approval from the Metro Council will allow police officers and sergeants a $10,000 annual raise and increased healthcare benefits.

While there’s been opposition from community members over this agreement, councilmember David Yates noted that in order to attract good officers, the city must present good incentives:

“If we are scraping the bottom of the barrel, if we do not have a pay incentive enough to attract good, hardworking people, then we’re going to have problems.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer explained that the “short-term contract” is pivotal both for the retention and training of officers in the LMPD, but that a “long-term contract” will be explored to ensure demanded police reforms can be mitigated:

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“This short-term contract represents an important step in providing the salary and benefits necessary to retain and grow the skills of our police department.

“Now, we will focus a long-term contract that includes the reforms necessary to address the challenge of police legitimacy and trust.”

Yet none of this sits well with Harmon Jones, a local activist that has been behind many of the protests relating to Breonna Taylor’s death:

“It’s bad enough that the city is making us pay for Breonna’s death, then you turn around and make us pay for the police’s raise. 

“It’s a continuous slap in the face. Just because it’s getting cold doesn’t mean the protests [stop].  Protests take many forms, summer of riots is over.  We have entered into the ‘Cold War.’”

The vote in favor of the new contract between the city and the FOP was 16-10. Councilman Bill Hollander was among those on the council who voted against the pay increases for police officers:

“I am very disappointed that there have been really no efforts at all to change provisions in the contract for internal investigations and discipline.”

Despite the heavy criticism regarding the agreement, this is reportedly only going to remain in effect until June of 2021, once the LMPD onboards a new police chief. In anticipation, negotiations between the city and the FOP are slated to kick off again in January.

Mayor Fischer’s statement on future discussions and agreements will aim to accomplish increased accountability and transparency in police matters:

“That includes work already under way to diversify LMPD to better represent the larger community it serves and to foster a culture that promotes transparency and accountability – including changes to policies on search warrants and seizures, and random drug testing.

“The short-term contract approved [on Nov. 6] also includes a new housing credit program to incentivize officers to live within specific neighborhoods.”

While admonishing the recently passed agreement between the FOP and the city during a Nov. 8 press conference, a member from the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression started to read the names of the 16 councilmembers that voted “yes.”

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In other news related to the death of Breonna Taylor, a recently filed countersuit by an LMPD officer shot by her boyfriend is creating some controversy.

Police sergeant sues Kenneth Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, for shooting him and causing emotional distress

LOUISVILLE, KY – The plot thickens regarding the controversial matters surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor. The latest development is that the officer shot by Taylor’s boyfriend during the serving of the warrant earlier this year has filed a civil suit against Taylor’s boyfriend for shooting him.

The suit brought forth by Louisville Police Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly against Kenneth Walker is seeking compensatory damages linked to emotional distress, assault and battery after being shot by Walker on March 13.

According to the suit, Sgt. Mattingly cites the legal definition of “intentional emotional distress” with the following:

“Walker’s conduct in shooting Mattingly is outrageous, intolerable, and offends all accepted standards of decency and morality.”

The specific verbiage in the suit is important when trying to allege intentional emotional distress, as there are four elements that must be proven to successfully prove a claim.

Those four elements include:

  • The defendant must act intentionally or recklessly
  • The defendant’s conduct must be extreme and outrageous
  • The conduct must be the cause
  • Severe emotional distress must be present

Essentially, Sgt. Mattingly’s attorney, Kent Wicker, must be able to prove that Walker’s actions fit within the definitions of said tort. Wicker seems to be optimistic about the effort, saying the following:

“Mattingly was shot and nearly killed by Kenneth Walker. He’s entitled to, and should, use the legal process to seek a remedy for the injury that Walker has caused him.”

However, attorney Steve Romines, who is Walker’s representation, finds the lawsuit to be “baseless.” Kentucky state law clearly defines that Walker is protected from “civil liability” in this case:

“Kenny Walker is protected by law under KRS 503.085 and is immune from both criminal prosecution and civil liability as he was acting in self-defense in his own home.”

Even though Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer back in March of this year, those charges were dropped in May after citing the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law as to why he opened fire on plainclothes officers.

Romines commented on the law in question while discussing the suit brought against his client:

“Even the most basic understanding of Kentucky’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and the ‘Castle Doctrine’ evidences this fact. One would think that breaking into the apartment, executing his girlfriend and framing him for a crime in an effort to cover up her murder would be enough for them.

“Yet this baseless attempt to further victimize and harass Kenny indicates otherwise.”

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Sgt. Mattingly is a counterclaim to a lawsuit that was filed by Walker earlier this year that alleges Sgt. Mattingly – among others – of police misconduct on the evening of the shooting and Walker’s arrest.

Among the allegations in the 39-page lawsuit against the officers involved in the March incident, the LMPD and the City of Louisville, an unspecified amount of damages is sought for assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other assertions.

On top of unspecified damages, the lawsuit seeks immunity from any attempts to prosecute Walker for firing the single shot that hit Sgt. Mattingly during the serving of the warrant.

It’s unclear what will come from either party’s lawsuits at this time.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today to stay up to date on the progress of these civil cases as they venture through the court system.

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