LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News has uncovered explosive new evidence that revealed what forced the former Prospect assistant police chief to leave his post.
WAVE 3 News obtained a letter from Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell to the Prospect Mayor John Evans. The letter described racist comments attributed to Todd Shaw, which were discovered as part of LMPD's Youth Explorer Program investigation.
The comments appeared in Facebook messages sent by Shaw to a former LMPD recruit regarding the treatment of juvenile black suspects.
WAVE 3 News has also obtained several other private Facebook messages between Shaw at least two others which are also racially charged. The messages contain a handful of racist memes that were shared in those conversations.
>> Read letter, Shaw's Facebook messages (WARNING: Contains offensive language)
The messages date back to 2010.
Last year, WAVE 3 News submitted an open records request for the documents after learning that Shaw had been placed under an internal investigation by the Prospect police chief.
Shaw tried to block the release of the documents, but the City of Prospect and the Jefferson County Attorney's Office both argued for their release. Shortly after WAVE 3 News filed a request for an expedited hearing Thursday, the judge ruled against Shaw, effectively ordering the release.
"The documents reveal opinions and prejudices that bring into question Shaw's integrity as a law enforcement officer," Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman wrote. "The only alleged injury is Shaw's personal embarrassment."
The Jefferson County Attorney's Office has redacted the documents where necessary.
In the letter we obtained, O'Connell quotes one message as reading "F*** the right thing," Shaw said in the messages. "If black shoot them." Shaw went on to say that "if mom is hot then f*** her.... if dad is hot then handcuff him and make him suck my d***.... Unless daddy is black... Then shoot him."
There are other racist statements that also describe shooting African Americans. To read the full statements, follow the link above.
"ML King was nothing but a racist (sic) womanizer...but because someone shot him, I get a day off with pay each year so I will take it," Shaw wrote.
"What has POLICING come to when all you can shoot are white people and injured deer," he said in yet another conversation.
Louisville Metro Council President David James is worried about how Shaw has acted towards residents of color and if any have been wrongfully arrested because of his apparent biases.
"It only takes on incident like this one to cover the entire department with embarrassment, shame, humiliation," James said.
Near the end of the letter sent to Prospect's mayor and police chief, O'Connell wrote the following:
During an on-camera interview, O'Connell told WAVE 3 News the findings were "disgusting."
"I hope he never shows his face in Jefferson County again," O'Connell told us.
The bulk of the messages were between Shaw and an LMPD recruit. That recruit, whose name has not been released, quit before he finished LMPD's training.
Once Prospect Mayor John Evans received O'Connell's message, he told us he contacted the Prospect Police Chief Jeff Sherrard. The Chief suspended Shaw the next day and initiated an internal investigation. Shaw was later forced to resign.
Evans called the messages a "tragedy." He expressed concern for the vast majority of officers who represent the badge honorably.
+ Prospect Police release Todd Shaw's resignation letter
+ 24 criminal cases to be dismissed following probe of former Prospect asst. police chief
+ Former Prospect Asst. Police Chief sues to stop release of Facebook messages in LMPD Explorer case
+ Prospect Assistant Chief resigns amid allegations of ties to LMPD Explorer Program scandal
+ Assistant Chief for Prospect Police suspended, under investigation
The statements led to the dismissal of 24 cases in which Shaw was the only witness.
A spokesperson for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declined to make statement, and told us this was a police matter and that the Mayor leaves police matters to police. The Mayor, who often Tweets statements was silent on the matter Friday.
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad issued a statement on the revelations Friday afternoon: