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Special prosecutor hired to combat Louisville gun violence as city sees deadliest year ever

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman said Louisville has had 580 non-fatal shootings in 2020, with 162 dying from their injuries.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Louisville faces its deadliest year ever, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman announced the hiring of a special prosecutor dedicated to combating firearm cases in Jefferson County.

Joshua Porter, an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney since 2014, was sworn-in as his new role of Special Assistant United States Attorney Friday. Porter worked as the deputy chief of the narcotics division in 2018, having previously served in the U.S. Army and serving two combat tours in Iraq.

The new role, funded by the Department of Justice as part of its Project Guardian initiative, is dedicated to reducing violence in Louisville alongside the federal carjacking taskforce, helping improve ATF and FBI engagement with LMPD and roll out the Group Violence Intervention approach.

Coleman said Louisville has had 580 non-fatal shootings in 2020, with 162 dying from their injuries.

"We must bring a sense of urgency to the historic levels of slaughter and wounding that has been 2020 in Louisville, with this innovative new prosecutorial model for targeting trigger pullers doing just that," Coleman said.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine said the new role will provide a collaboration between his office and federal law enforcement partners.

"This enhanced collaborative effort will help us identify the offenders that are driving violent crime rates in the most violent areas of Metro Louisville," Wine said. "It will ensure prosecution of those offenders in the federal courts."

Project Guardian is a nationwide program launched in November 2019 by Attorney General Barr that uses existing gun laws to attack gun violence in an effort to prosecute the most dangerous and violent offenders.

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