FOP president, Metro councilwoman hold separate news conferences to talk police-community relations

FOP president, Metro councilwoman hold separate news conferences to talk police-community relations

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The fallout from a March officer-involved shooting in Southwest Louisville took another turn Thursday after a Louisville Metro councilwoman’s comments from the police encounter that claimed Breonna Taylor’s life.

During a Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday, Councilwoman Jessica Green said, “I call for Tom Wine, Commonwealth Attorney, to free Kenneth Walker. I think that he’s a hero. He’s not a criminal. He doesn’t need to be locked away.”

Walker was Taylor’s boyfriend, who police said shot and injured LMPD Sgt. Jon Mattingly when officers served a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s home on March 13. During Wednesday’s meeting, Green advocated for charges against Walker to be dropped.

Green’s comment sparked outrage from those in the law enforcement community, including River City Fraternal Order of Police President Ryan Nichols.

“To say that I was disgusted and appalled by that statement is a dramatic understatement," Nichols said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Nichols called for Green to issue a public apology.

She did not, but did clarify her comments in a separate news conference Thursday.

“I said what I said," Green said. “I apologize if anybody interpreted it in a way that it wasn’t meant to be interpreted. What I said yesterday was that I believe that Kenneth Walker was a hero, because he acted to defend himself and his significant other due to threats unknown. I stand by that statement. I also stated that I have a husband who, if any one came into our house in the middle of the night, that he would do everything in his power to protect his family. That is heroic. That is honorable.”

Green also told reporters she had spoken to members of the FOP on Thursday morning to clear the air.

“The narrative has to be changed that we are either for the police all the time or somehow we are against the police," Green said.

Nichols echoed that statement, but said comments like Wednesday’s do nothing but divide the community.

“We, the police department, are not separate from this community," Nichols said. "We’re a part of this community. We love this community and we’ve been called to serve. So, I don’t agree with the statements of the police department and the community. We’re one.”

The investigation into Taylor’s death has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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