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David McAtee’s mother, attorney want ‘peace and justice’ in wake of his death

Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 6:44 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The mother of a man shot and killed by police in West Louisville said she wants “peace and justice” in the wake of his death.

David McAtee was shot and killed outside his restaurant, YaYa’s BBQ Shack, in the early morning hours of June 1. McAtee was well known in the community, and was considered a friend to law enforcement.

On Monday, McAtee’s mother, Odessa Riley, stood where her son was killed one week earlier.

“My son was a good son,” she said. “I know that from the bottom of my heart because I am the one that raised him and I raised him to do the right thing. The only thing I want for my son is peace and justice, and I’m going to make sure he gets there."

Riley stood side-by-side with family attorney Steve Romines, who demanded Louisville city leaders and the Louisville Metro Police Department to take responsibility for McAtee’s death.

“What should happen is Metro Council and the Mayor and LMPD should come forward and say, ‘We’re sorry, we accept responsibility for all the policies that were violated, and we want to make it right,'" Romines said.

In the past week, McAtee’s death has led to several changes throughout the city. Most notably, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad was relieved of his duties later that day. Since Conrad’s departure, LMPD has released videos of the incident, claiming McAtee fired his weapon first. Romines told reporters those tapes do not capture the full story.

Riley echoed that sentiment, and said she still believes her son never shot his gun.

“They’re trying to say my son did the first shooting," Riley said. "No he did not. When y’all see that he’s at that door with his hand up, he has nothing in his hand, nothing.”

Romines released paperwork Monday asking LMPD for every piece of evidence from the June 1 incident, including 911 calls, autopsy reports and other videos from the scene. Also included in those documents were pictures that Romines claims show McAtee’s niece was shot and injured by pepper balls before the real bullets rang out.

David McAtee's family's attorneys released images to reporters Monday that they said show...
David McAtee's family's attorneys released images to reporters Monday that they said show McAtee's niece injured by pepper balls fired by law enforcement.(Courtesy: Steve Romines)
David McAtee's family's attorneys released images to reporters Monday that they said show...
David McAtee's family's attorneys released images to reporters Monday that they said show McAtee's niece injured by pepper balls fired by law enforcement.(Courtesy: Steve Romines)

Romines told reporters the officers involved should be fired, and the city should deal with any backlash or lawsuits that ensue.

“What are you going to do, fire them and let them sue you?” Romines asked.

McAtee’s nephew told WAVE 3 News the funeral for his uncle has been scheduled for Saturday. He said more details on that are coming later in the week.

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