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Louisville leaders say violence reduction strategy falling short in key areas

Louisville has used a violent crime reduction strategy called "Group Violence Intervention" for 2.5 years. Leaders say it is working, but not as well as it could be.

Travis Breese, Alyssa Newton, Joseph Garcia

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Published: 7:32 PM EDT March 23, 2023
Updated: 9:24 PM EDT March 23, 2023

According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, 2022 was the third-deadliest year in Louisville’s history.

There were 160 homicides last year, a 150% increase from 2012 when the Metro finished the year with 64 homicides.

Kenneth Forbes Sr. says the community has become desensitized to violent crimes. He lost his son Kenny Jr. in December 2012.

“He had a wonderful life…he had a lot of support," Forbes said. "He graduated from high school. He actually played football ever since he was six years old."

Kenny Jr. was 19 years old when he was killed in the parking lot behind Liquor World off of Dixie Highway in Shively.

Credit: WHAS11 News
Photo of Kenny Jr. after he graduated from high school.

In February, Forbes joined FOCUS Investigator Travis Breese at the scene of where his son had died more than a decade ago.

“For a father, and a man that’s been so strong in the community…been strong with his family. And at that moment…it's all taken away from you in a matter of seconds,” Forbes said.

Forbes turned to his faith after Kenny Jr.’s death. He said he needed to be strong for the people around him, like his other sons and his mom.

The experience led Forbes to start a support group for other grieving families: Moms of Murdered Sons and Daughters of Kentucky (MOMS).

“When your faith is diminished, you don't even think about all hopes or getting better. And that’s where you stay: in a bed of sorrow, grief, depression," he said. "And I didn’t want to do that."

Credit: WHAS11 News
Kenneth Forbes Sr., in a blue Colts hat, falls to the ground the day his son was murdered. “I didn’t know who those people were. A woman knelt over me and started praying in my ear,” he said. Dec. 23, 2012.

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