Community reacts to DOJ LMPD report
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With so much information released at once, many in the community are still wrapping their heads around everything that was released Wednesday.
When people think of LMPD’s conduct, many think back to 2020 with Breonna Taylor’s death, the protests, and events that followed.
For some people, it goes back farther than that.
At a press conference Wednesday, Louisville NAACP president Rauol Cunningham told the story of when he was first arrested.
It was for participating in a desegregation sit-in.
“But the interesting thing was there was no law upholding segregation,” Cunningham said. “They arrested us for breaking a custom. It’s been going on for years. And I’m sure there are others, many others who can testify to that. That was in 1961.”
Tyra Thomas-Walker at the Kentucky Alliance says her first experience with LMPD was when she was 12 years old.
“With a neighbor friend who dealt with some mental illness and his mother called for assistance and he was murdered in his front yard,” Thomas-Walker said.
The DOJ says they found evidence that both LMPD and the city have discriminated against people with behavioral health disabilities.
“Our finding here under the Americans with Disabilities Act marks the very first time that the civil rights division has issued a finding with respect to how the city dispatches a response to people experiencing behavioral health crisis,” Kristin Clark at the DOJ said.
Clark said LMPD has violated the first amendment rights of people when they’re critical of the police.
“Everything that we stood for down at Injustice Square Park, validates what we did in 2020,” Thomas-Walker said.
There are 86 pages in the report and it’s going to take time for people to process it all.
Many think it’s a step in the right direction.
“For the entire community, this report should be embraced, studied, make sure we all understand and try to make Louisville a better place,” Cunningham said.
“It takes all of us to get this job done,” Thomas-Walker said. “It takes all of us. If we can just stand in unity and continue the fight against discrimination.”
The NAACP says this has all been bittersweet because of the people who had to suffer to get to this point.
For them and people like Thomas-Walker, now it’s time for action.
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