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LMPD Civilian Review Board kept in Metro Council committee with more amendments to be made

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 1:14 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Last minute changes to an ordinance creating the new Louisville Metro Police Department Civilian Review Board and inspector general had some Louisville Metro Council members fuming after five months of hard work and community input.

In Wednesday’s meeting, Councilwoman Paula McCraney said the ordinance could have passed out of the Public Safety Committee if not for intentional 11th hour grandstanding. She says she was upset her colleagues waited until the night before to call her with changes.

“I was heated, and I’m heated now, because what they’re trying to do is railroad, this whole document,” McCraney said as the meeting adjourned.

Over the course of five months, she said she consistently asked for feedback before it was brought to committee two weeks ago.

“Putting politics before the people does not settle well with me,” McCraney said.

A consistent 4-3 vote pushed through three different amendments to what McCraney and over 30 members of the community have come up with: a board of 11 citizens and an inspector general who are tasked with independently investigating claims against LMPD to protect both civilians and officers.

“They’re trying to impress the FOP, they’re trying to make a statement that political, there’s nothing political about trying to do what’s right by the citizens of this community,” she said.

Former officer and Councilmember Mark Fox said those sitting in judgment must know what they are judging.

“You are not going to experience the life of a police officer spending four hours in a car in some parts of the city,” Fox said.

Fox’s amendment changed the ride along training criteria from 16 to 40 hours a year, despite concerns over if working people would have that time to give.

“Section 11 says a lot about what you can’t be but says very little about what you can be,” Fox said.

Law enforcement experience isn’t needed for the job of the inspector general, but after an amendment from Councilman James Peden, it was added that it’s preferred.

Peden’s second amendment added the Kentucky Association for Chiefs of Police, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to the list of community organizations that make recommendations for the mayor’s appointments to the board.

“There’s no objection to someone with experience with law enforcement experience being on the board,” McCraney explained. “The problem is trying to stack it or trying to suggest that that is the body that needs to be also be your review board because that defeats the entire purpose."

The committee hopes to finish this up in a special meeting next week. More amendments are expected before it heads to the full council.

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