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Schroeder, Hess to testify in Louisville Metro Council investigation

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 12:32 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville judge ruled that Interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder and Louisville Metro Public Safety Director Amy Hess will have to testify before Metro Council about recent events surrounding protests and riots in the city and LMPD’s response.

At the beginning of August, attorneys representing Mayor Greg Fischer’s office told council members in chambers that Schroeder and Hess should not be required to testify because of a civil lawsuit filed at the end of July. The lawsuit names Fischer, Schroeder, and LMPD officers for alleged use-of-force violations during the protests that at times became violent.

WAVE 3 News crews are all over town Saturday night, covering a third straight night of protests...
WAVE 3 News crews are all over town Saturday night, covering a third straight night of protests across Louisville.(WAVE 3 News)
Former Interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder and Louisville Metro Public Safety Director Amy Hesss
Former Interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder and Louisville Metro Public Safety Director Amy Hesss(WAVE 3 News)

Metro Council members disagreed with Fischer’s attorneys, which led to Schroeder and Hess walking out of chambers.

Metro Government then sued Metro Council with an aim to stop them from testifying in open court. However, Judge Audra Eckerle ruled in favor of the Metro Council on Tuesday. She wrote that past actions or inactions will eventually be brought up in court and that a civil suit does not outweigh government oversight.

Eckerle’s ruling can still be appealed, however, a spokeswoman for the mayor says Hess will testify.

Schroeder’s attorney has not yet responded to WAVE 3 News' request for comment.

Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini said Schroeder and Hess should feel obligated to testify.

Louisville Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini
Louisville Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini

“This is about doing the right thing,” he told WAVE 3 News. “This is about honor. This is about being public servants. I’m calling on Chief Schroeder to be the honorable man, that I do truly honestly believe he is, no matter how difficult it is to come here and tell the truth to the public, so we can begin this healing process.”

Tuesday night, the Metro Council Government Oversight Committee met to talk about the next steps now that new subpoenas have been sent to Schroeder and Hess. Piagentini and Government Oversight Committee Chairman Brent Ackerson want to subpoena all of LMPD’s lieutenant colonels and majors to get a full picture.

“Frankly, no, I don’t. I don’t trust my government,” Ackerson said.

The hearing won’t touch anything covered in the Breonna Taylor investigation, just the protests that have followed. Things like if there was a stand-down order given during rioting, whether tear gas and pepper balls were used properly, and how law enforcement came to be at 26th and broadway the night David McAtee was killed.

Piagentini said they will invite command staff to the hearing.

“For budget, this entire room is filled with officers in their blue uniforms,” Piagentini said. “All to add to whatever they need to dialogue-wise.”

The four-hour hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m.

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