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'Hurt and disgusted': Not all happy with selection of new LMPD chief

Both the River City FOP and local activists questioned Erika Shields, Louisville's new police chief.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Erika Shields will be Louisville's next top cop by unanimous decision, but support is not unanimous in the black community.

While members of the interview panel praised the former Atlanta police chief Wednesday morning, many who led or participated in protests at Jefferson Square Park during the Breonna Taylor case said they do not understand the decision-making.

Hanna Drake was active in demonstrations over the death of Breonna Taylor. At the same time Drake and thousands of others were demanding police reform, Shields stepped down as Atlanta's chief following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

"[I'm] hurt and disgusted," community activist Hannah Drake said. "We know what happened when this chief was on watch in Atlanta, and so to bring her here, you just left the same thing."

Sadiqa Reynolds, the CEO of the Louisville Urban League, said she did not understand the decision.

"If in fact she is the best that our country has to offer, well I understand why people want to defund the police," Reynolds said.

Reynolds, however, said she will work with Shields and hopes the new chief will prove her wrong.

Community leader Christopher 2X told WHAS11 he had a private meeting with Shields and the mayor. He introduced them to two families who have lost loved ones to gun violence.

During the meeting, 2X said Shields assured them that under her watch they and other families of victims will have better access to police as they investigate.

Credit: Christopher 2X

The River City FOP said that while they were "cautiously optimistic" about the appointment of Shields, but said some of the comments made during her announcement have already caused many members to "lose faith in her ability to improve this department."

"Our members deserve to work for commanders who display integrity and strong leadership," the FOP said in a statement. "The community deserves a police department with leadership that can be trusted to do the right thing all of the time."

Still, the FOP said it is willing to work with Shields to develop a strong relationship within LMPD.

Metro Council President David James was on the selection committee. A former LMPD officer himself, James said Shields was the unanimous choice of the panel, and 90% if the panel was people of color.

All believed Shields was an excellent choice, despite what happened in Atlanta.

"You can't be a police chief in a large city and not have some sort of controversy, that's just unheard of," James said. "I think she's going to do a fantastic job."

RELATED: Who is Erika Shields? More on Louisville's new police chief

RELATED: LMPD detectives involved in Breonna Taylor case terminated

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