Community activists speak out after officer gunfire kills Louisville man

Community activists speak out after officer gunfire kills Louisville man
Published: Jun. 15, 2015 at 3:27 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2015 at 4:28 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - While facts began to surface about Saturday's officer-involved shooting, local activists came together Sunday to discuss the fatal event. Their main concern is that they say the officer used unnecessary force.

It became an emotional discussion during "Stand Up Sunday" on West Broadway, a weekly meeting with activists who attempt to bring justice to minority groups. Today, different activist groups tried to make sense of Saturday's shooting and what role the community plays in events such as this.

The group departed with two goals in mind, to flood the phone lines at both LMPD and the mayor's office.

"Why was the first thing this man grabbed was his gun?" asked community activist Kendra Anderson. "Why didn't the officer grab his Taser?"

A common question tossed around during today's discussion, as groups urge transparency from LMPD.

[RELATED: Police chief vows thorough investigation into fatal shooting]

"Twenty years ago, police didn't have a problem restraining people," said community activist Eddie Davis. "The use of a gun was a last resort."

At the meeting, the members stressed that police release the name of the officer involved in the initial call. Moments later, the police chief did just that and supplied surveillance video from the shooting. But for some of these activists, that is not enough.

"We want any officer who is involved in a shooting to be drug tested immediately," said fairness activist Jaison Gardner. "They need to be drug tested in the same way that a victim would be given a toxicology test."

With their suggestions, the group reiterated that they are not anti-police and they realize police officers are necessary to our society. But Gardner said it is also important that everyday citizens realize there are some places where LMPD falls short. "Everyone has the power to hold folks accountable and ask these important questions," he said.

The group says Saturday's unfortunate events are even more proof that all area officers should be equipped with a body camera.

A spokesperson said they do not trust police to be the sole investigators of their own behavior, highlighting the need for a community based independent police civilian review board that has subpoena power.

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