LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New documents obtained by WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters confirm the City’s Office of Community Development was working with LMPD on Elliott Avenue, the place where Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend lived.
The documents are part of a presentation expected to be given to Metro Council’s Government Accountability Committee. They are in response to the demands the council members made to Mayor Greg Fischer to release related information about the project.
A recently amended lawsuit on Taylor’s behalf claims a development was behind the warrants executed on Jamarcus Glover’s home at 2424 Elliott Avenue.
The new documents include a timeline of events showing that LMPD’s Place Based Investigations squad, which also was named on the warrants on Glover’s home, began working on Elliott Avenue in December 2019. The timeline said PBI identified multiple individuals suspected of dealing drugs out of one or more homes on the street.
On Dec. 30, a warrant was served on Glover’s home, which resulted in his arrests and those of a few others.
The documents also include a letter dated July 2020, which explains the Elliott Avenue Project:
“Today, a handful of occupied homes sit among vacant houses and empty lots,” the letter stated. “Within the past two years, the Department of Develop Louisville’s Office of Community Development (OCD) and Keeping It Real, Inc., a local nonprofit partner, have intervened in an effort to stabilize and reinvigorate this residential community within West Louisville.”
“City and neighborhood stakeholders know the redevelopment challenges facing Elliott Ave -- unusually high levels of criminal activity, property vacancy and abandonment, and a lack of neighborhood resources.”
WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters obtained a similarly-worded letter explaining the Elliott Avenue Project through sources a few weeks ago before the news of the development broke. The two letters share much of the same language with some paragraphs being exact copies.
However, on the newly released letter to council members, one line is omitted:
“The Office of Community Development (OCD), in partnership with the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) continue to explore crime reduction measures on Elliott Avenue with an emphasis on place-based crime prevention strategies.”
That is the opposite of what Fischer said last week when WAVE 3 News asked if anyone with his administration, Develop Louisville or Community Development had talks with LMPD’s PBI squad or command staff about Elliott Avenue.
“We had no specific conversations with (PBI),” Fischer said. “They are following the evidence in the case. He added that any documents naming PBI and the Elliott Avenue Project would come from LMPD.
The lawsuit claims officers were misguided and pressured to clear out Glover's neighborhood.
LMPD did say it started work on Elliott Avenue in December but said that was based on information gathered on calls for service and crime.
“In exploring ways to address Louisville’s violent crime problem, we began researching the PBI model about a year ago and began working with other Metro partners to set up the project,” LMPD spokesperson Jesse Halladay said. “We spent several months working with Cincinnati and Las Vegas personnel (police, researchers, government employees) to research the project and learn from their experiences. We began work in this first area of Elliott Avenue in December, based information gathered on calls for service, violent crime, and other criminal activity in the area.”
Fischer’s office sent out the following statement in which it said the project was aimed at the revitalization of the neighborhood:
“The efforts by Louisville Forward date back to 2014 and 2015, as the city received its first HUD Choice Neighborhood grant and was working to identify vacant and abandoned properties in the Russell neighborhood. The staff of Louisville Forward and its member departments have said they welcome engaging further with Metro Council on the revitalization work ongoing on Elliott Avenue and throughout Russell.”
The Metro Council’s Government Accountability Committee has subpoena power and told Fischer it would use it if necessary to get to the facts.
In the statement, Fischer responded to those comments by saying subpoenas are not necessary.
“I’m not clear on why Council would need to issue subpoenas, since we have never declined to make Metro employees available for council and committee meetings, nor declined to provide any data that we’re able to provide,” he said. “All Council has to do is ask, and we’ll provide what we’re able to release.”