LMPD investigation could determine whether traffic stop was racially motivated

The Rev. Kevin Cosby pulled over Saturday night, released with warning

LMPD investigation could determine whether traffic stop was racially motivated
The Rev. Kevin Cosby is the president of Simmons College in Louisville. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - LMPD is now investigating the officer who pulled over the Rev. Kevin Cosby in the Russell neighborhood over the weekend.

LMPD investigating claim of racial profiling during traffic stop of reverend

Cosby, who is also the president of Simmons College, recorded part of the interaction, which happened Saturday night at 22nd Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. His daughter shared the video on Facebook.

In the video, Cosby expressed confusion and unease by the traffic stop, but he has not publicly talked about the interaction. Some are accusing the officer of racial profiling.

“I am sure there will be disagreements on whether what took place with the stopping of my parents constitutes racial profiling,” Christine Cosby-Gaither, Cosby’s daughter, said.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad initiated a Professional Standards Unit investigation to determine if procedures were properly followed, or whether race played a role.

“Only when we have the courage to face this can we fix this,” Cosby-Gaither said.

President of Simmons College records traffic stop; LMPD chief opens investigation

Metro Council President David James said Wednesday that some of his constituents have also asked, “Why did the officer also ask for Cosby’s wife’s ID?”

“By running both of those driver’s license, they get the opportunity to see if anybody in the car has an outstanding arrest warrant on them," James said.

The police department is under a push for what is called self-initiated activity, meaning officers are working proactively as opposed to responding only to radio dispatch.

In an email from LMPD Maj. Eric Johnson to James and other council members, Johnson said Cosby’s stop was a clear example of what he’s instructed his officer to do. Johnson said a decrease in violent crime is a result of the tactic.

“When aggressive, proactive policing takes place in an effort to reduce violent crime, sometimes there are innocent casualties in that moment,” James said.

On Thursday, Fraternal Order of Police President Nicolai Jilek said he was allowed to view the officer’s body cam video and praised the actions of the officer.

FOP presidents commends LMPD officer at center of controversial traffic stop

Jilek cautioned against changing how police do their job.

“If we’re going to talk about changing policy, if we’re going to talk about examining policy and where to move, we need to understand that.” Jilek said. “I think it would not be good to in any way encourage changing policy that would inhibit officers from doing their job. And again, these officers were just doing their job and I thought they did a good job.”

Police would not comment on the investigation. The department is not yet releasing to the public dash-camera or body cam video that could shed more light on what happened before Cosby started recording.

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