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FOP president hesitant but hopeful about Shields’ leadership as LMPD chief

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 1:15 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There is still a lot of controversy surrounding Mayor Greg Fischer’s naming of Erika Shields as the new Louisville Metro Police Department chief.

Wednesday night, protesters blocked traffic by taking to the streets, which led to shots being fired at an SUV.

The next day, the River Cities Fraternal Order of Police president held a press conference to discuss the new hire. FOP President Ryan Nichols told WAVE 3 News Shields has things to prove already to officers after a year of divisiveness, terminations, and civil unrest in Louisville.

“I don’t know that this administration that things are all that different, it appeared from the press conference yesterday we’re in for more of the same,” Nicholas said.

Nichols also said Fischer’s choices for the chief of LMPD in the past had not always been the best.

He also found Shields’ inaccurate comments regarding the Breonna Taylor case during her announcement as the new chief troubling; he also confirmed that Shields sent an e-mail citing the mistakes she made on her comments.

“She says she understands words and facts matter, and the sensitive nature of this case,” Nichols said. “That is at least some level of acknowledgement.”

Furthermore, Nichols said work needs to be done on recruiting and retaining LMPD officers.

“Officers have shut down,” he said. “Moral is extremely low. They’re going to be hard pressed to take what she says, and her new message, and get behind that.”

Shields hasn’t been embraced by the Black Lives Matter Louisville community, either. Protesters held a press conference on Thursday, where they expressed their concerns about her record, how she handled the case of Rayshard Brooks, and other racial issues.

“Shields has asked us to look at her body of work,” Talla Wilson, a BLM protester, said, “but Louisville looking at her tenure in the three and a half years in Atlanta is troubling to say the least.”

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