Family of man shot, killed by LMPD want outside source to investigate

Wicker Family looking for outside justice

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's been three months since two Metro Police officers shot and killed Darnell Wicker, he was holding a tree saw in south Louisville, this happened shortly after a domestic disturbance.

One of those officers is also involved in another internal investigation after he was recorded searching some teenagers jackets this summer at Victory Park in the California neighborhood.

Darnell Wicker's family is now requesting a third party come in and investigate this case that has been in the hands of LMPD's Public Integrity Unit since August.

“The concerns we have right now is that we have the police investigating themselves,” Sam Aguiar, the Wicker family attorney, said.

Wicker was shot and killed by LMPD Officers Beau Gadegaard and Taylor Banks on August 8.

“One of the first things that comes out in a lot of these discussions is the importance of a neutral third party to come in and oversee investigations and to either oversee the prosecution or take over the prosecution,” Aguiar explained.

In a letter sent to the Commonwealth Attorney, the Wicker family asks why this "flawed policy allows a department to investigate its own members then send its findings to a prosecution team it works closely with."

“LMPD and the Commonwealth's Attorney Office here have a really good opportunity to turn a really bad situation into a really good improvement in policy, this is a systematic problem that really needs to change,” Aguiar said.

The letter lists concerns with Officer Gadegaard's actions and describes a YouTube video of Gadegaard interacting with some teenagers in Victory Park back in May.

The officer later searches their jackets, we’ve learned LMPD is now investigating this incident as well. Aguiar's team shared pictures from the body camera footage on August 8 which shows officers holding their cell phones, he is asking questions about what officers do doing at this moment.

“When you watch the video you can see...the officers presumably to avoid having their conversations captured on body cameras, start text messaging each other, passing phones back and forth, clearly this is relevant evidence, clearly this is important evidence.”

Aguiar says Wicker's daughters are hopeful that if not their case, that any future cases questioning LMPD's use of force will require an outside source. They say it's something the community deserves.

WHAS11 reached out to the Commonwealth Attorney, we were told a letter was sent back in response to the Wicker family’s request, but Aguiar tells us, he has not received a response.

Both the Commonwealth’s Attorney and LMPD declined to comment regarding this request by the Wicker family.


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