Forum discusses police-community relations in Louisville

Forum discusses police-community relations

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A recent shooting has left many upset and confused.

“I think people in the community are always at a heightened sense of awareness...the police shot somebody, they must be wrong. That guy must have been a victim of the police,” said Richard Pearson, former LMPD officer.

Pearson was one of two retired Louisville Metro Police Officers and former Seattle police chief that participated in an open discussion about officer-involved shootings and police relations with the public.

“We need to build a rapport and tear down that wall of distrust and the only way we're going to do that is if we get in front of each other,” Pearson said.

Many in the audience used it as an opportunity to ask questions about policing.

In the case from Okolona, police say the officers shot and killed an armed suspect.  After the shooting, officers rescued a victim who had been bound with duct tape and pistol whipped.         

But one person sat in the audience--thinking about his own experience.

“It was crazy. I just felt like I was going to die,” said Ishmael Gough.

In September 2012, Gough was shot in the thigh by an off-duty LMPD detective.  He says having discussions like these are helpful.

“It's education to learn what to do in your situation.  So, it's very important to come out and support and see what's going on,” Gough said.

Questions asked and questions answered--steps to building a better relationship between our community and those who protect it.

The two officers involved in the latest officer-involved shooting are currently on paid administrative leave while there is an internal investigation.  

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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