LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After rumors surfaced that Louisville Metro Police officers were leaving the force due to recent protests in the city, the department is addressing those rumors. According to LMPD spokesperson Alicia Smiley, those rumors are not true.
Smiley said two officers are departing due to the protests, citing family reasons, but other officers leaving had previously delayed their retirements to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Smiley said in part, "Many, if not all, of these officers have worked 12 days in a row without a day of rest. Still, these men and women come to work to protect this community and ensure the people who are speaking out at this time have a safe environment to do that in."
The demonstrations in Louisville began last week as protesters called for justice in Breonna Taylor's death. Taylor was killed by police when they executed a no-knock warrant at her home in March. The officers involved in Taylor's death were placed on administrative leave with pay. Many have called for them to be removed from the department and charged in her death.
Following another shooting involving LMPD, in which a Louisville cook named Dave McAtee was killed, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Chief Steve Conrad had been relieved of his duties. The mayor also called for an external review of the department while they search for a new chief of police.
When the mayor attended a police roll call, officers got up and walked out. FOP President Ryan Nichols said the walkout was not planned, but he believed it was a direct result of officers feeling "unsupported and disrespected" by the mayor.