Current Explorers express support for program

Mayor Fischer suspends LMPD Explorer Youth Program

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Continued support for a Youth Program now under fire.

"I'm really upset.  Just because a couple people did stuff bad doesn't mean it should ruin the whole program," Antonio Shelton, a current Explorer, said.

Fourteen-year-old Shelton is currently in the Youth Explorer Program and says he's saddened by news of this scandal.

"Just to hear this news, it's like now what am I going to do? Since all the people who want to be in the program and really love it have nothing to do now," Shelton said.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Monday the Youth Explorer Program, run by LMPD, will be suspended temporarily.  This comes after a lawsuit was filed last Wednesday that alleges two LMPD officers sexually abused the plaintiff who was in the explorer program.

"I really love the program because in the cadet program you're surrounded by people who have the same interests as you," Shelton said.

Kids showed up to their scheduled meeting for the explorer program --- and had no idea what was going on.  They spoke highly of the program and the officers.

"I have very good officers in the program," Kentrel Duncan, another current Explorer, said.

The lawsuit has been sealed by the plaintiff's lawyer David Yates.  He says his client alleges that he was sexually abused by two officers and one of the officers raped him.         

Back in the fall, sources connected Officer Brandon Wood and former Officer Kenneth Betts to an investigation into the explorer program.  Betts resigned from the police department in 2013 when he was investigated for having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl in the Explorer program.

The kids we spoke to say they just want to be police officers

"I would love to come back and be an Explorer," Duncan said.

The Mayor has also called for the lawsuit to be unsealed.  Yates says he would consider having it unsealed as long as his client’s identity isn't revealed.

Louisville Metro Police won't comment on the lawsuit citing pending litigation.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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