Prosecutors argue no jail time for former LMPD officer charged in David McAtee death
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The former Louisville Metro Police officer who was charged federally in connection to the death of west Louisville restaurant owner David “YaYa” McAtee may not serve prison time.
A government sentencing memorandum was filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, arguing Katie Crews should serve a probation sentence for her role in McAtee’s death.
Crews plead guilty in Oct. to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law. As part of the guilty plea, Crews agreed not to pursue another law enforcement job.
In June 2020, Crews and other officers were given orders to disperse crowds gathering near McAtee’s restaurant during the summer protests following Breonna Taylor’s death.
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The former officer told investigators she had fired pepper balls at McAtee’s niece, Machelle McAtee, after she refused to get back in the restaurant during the mayor’s enacted curfew.
David McAtee pulled Machelle out of a doorway after the pepper balls were fired, and documents state he opened the door and fired several shots with a gun.
Crews, another LMPD officer and two National Guard soldiers returned fire, with one of the National Guard soldier’s bullets striking and killing McAtee.
The FBI case began as Crews was cleared of all state charges, with Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine saying Crews acted appropriately in returning fire.
Prosecutors argued that while Crews’ use of force was excessive, her actions were done with a “legitimate law enforcement purpose” to clear the area and enforce the curfew.
Documents state Crews first shouted verbal arguments, then fired pepper balls at the ground before eventually firing at McAtee’s niece after Crews’ orders were not followed.
Prosecutors said they did not identify any use of excessive force by Crews prior to the incident, stating the former officer had no criminal history.
Due to the listed reasons, prosecutors recommended sentence of probation with 100 hours of community service as sufficient punishment.
Crews is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30.
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