Former Seattle Police Chief brings reform solutions to KY

Former Seattle Police Chief brings reform solutions to KY

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Norm Stamper is the former chief of the Seattle Police Department. "To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America's Police" is the title of his latest book.

Stamper travels the country talking to communities to hear their concerns with their local police departments and offer solutions. His latest stop was Louisville.

"Citizens will lead the police reform effort," Stamper said.

A Louisville Metro Police Department officer shot and killed an armed man Sunday night. The incident was top-of-mind for many during the forum Stamper hosted Wednesday night.

"I'm always convinced that no matter how well, how legally justified the police respond to a threatening situation, that it's critical to look at ways that it might have been prevented," Stamper said.

Though, Stamper admits there are times when such shootings are inevitable.

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Lieutenant Richard Pearson retired from LMPD in 2015.

"People in the community are always a heightened sense of awareness," Pearson said. "Like, 'Oh the police shot somebody they must be wrong, that guy must have been a victim of the police.' No. This young man had a gun, duct-taped someone inside the business. This was a bad person."

These retired officers heard heartfelt concerns from the crowd; from how to combat racial profiling, to not hearing from detectives after a loved one is killed.

Holding police departments accountable was an underlying theme in almost every answer from the retired officers.

Ishmael Gough believes he was wrongly shot by an officer in 2012. He said he now realized not attempting to hold them accountable is hurting him.

"Over the years, it's been forgotten," Gough said. "So, yeah, I've been silent."

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