LMPD has received threats in recent days, assistant police chief says
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department has received several threats in the days since two high-profile cases of African-American men being shot and killed by police, LMPD Assistant Chief Kim Kraeszig said on Friday. She did not describe the nature of the threats.
"It's concerning that we have individuals that are disturbed (enough) to want to do that, and who want to put it on our officers," Kraeszig said. "We have a very professional police department. We are here to serve our community."
Alton Sterling was killed by officers in Baton Rouge, La. on Tuesday. Philando Castile was gunned down by police in a Minneapolis suburb the following evening. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has said Castile was killed, at least in part, because he was black.
Apparently in response to the threats, as well as the sniper attack in Dallas that left five police officers dead and seven others wounded, LMPD officers will patrol in pairs until further notice.
"It serves a two-fold purpose," LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said. "Number one is obviously for safety. Number two is emotional, so officers can talk (the Dallas situation) over and kind of decompress."
Division officers usually patrol alone.
Mitchell said he was unaware of any other changes LMPD is making in response to the Dallas shootings.
Kraeszig says she and her fellow officers know that when they put on their uniform every day there is a chance that they may not come home. That reality sets in even more in the wake of situations like the one in Dallas.
"They saw an officer assassinated on live television. That, for anybody, is just not something that is natural," Kraeszig said. "That's not something we are supposed to see in a community."
Law enforcement, city employees and local activists gathered at Metro Hall on Friday for a vigil and moment of silence for the officers who were killed in Dallas, and those that were injured, as well as for the men who died at the hands of police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week.
Mayor Greg Fischer urged people to stay peaceful.
"This is not a situation that you have to pick a side," he said. "Supporting police and supporting communities of color are not mutually exclusive. We have to both support our police officers, and acknowledge the pain and injustice in too many of our communities."
Fischer added that the community is compassionate, exampling Muhammad Ali's funeral, when people in the community and law enforcement came together.
LMPD says it is aware that there may be some events and, or, protests over the coming days and that there will be a police presence at those events and that those type of gatherings have generally been peaceful in the past.
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