Black Police Officers Organization founder dies

Black Police Officers Organization founder dies
Shelby Lanier died over the weekend of apparent natural causes. (Source: LMPD)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A man who paved the way for many African Americans to become police officers in Louisville died.

Shelby Lanier died over the weekend of apparent natural causes.

Lanier organized the Black Police Officers Organization and later became the chairman of the National Black Police Association.

Lanier sued the Louisville police department for discrimination, which led to the changes in hiring, compensation and promotions. Ninety-eight people had been denied employment, one of them was Metro Council President David James, who said he wouldn’t have ever been an officer if it wasn’t for Lanier.

LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad issued the following statement on Lanier’s passing:

“It is with sadness that we mark the passing of retired Detective Shelby Lanier. As a young officer on this department, Detective Lanier was a fixture in the Fourth District, where I worked during part of my first year on the old Louisville Division of Police. Through his advocacy and willingness to speak out, significant changes occurred in policing in Louisville. In fact, my recruit class in 1980 was one of those impacted by the federal consent decree – mandating African-Americans be hired – which Detective Lanier was largely responsible for. His actions certainly led to more diversity on this department, something we continue to work to achieve among our officers. I send my condolences to his family, both personally and on behalf of a police department that benefited from his 27 years of service.”

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