Louisville police chief to step down at year’s end

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville Police Chief Erika Shields will step down in January, less than two years after taking office amid tensions over the department. Breonna Taylor manipulation fatal shooting by the police.

Louisville Mayor-elect Craig Greenberg said Monday that he recently spoke to Shields and that she offered to tender her resignation, giving Greenberg the opportunity to choose a new leader when her term begins Jan. 2.

Shields took over in January 2021, months after Taylor’s shooting and a summer full of street protests that drew attention to the shooting and police treatment of protesters. She was the fourth chief to lead the department following Taylor’s death in March 2020. Former chief Steve Conrad was fired and two acting chiefs served short terms in 2020.

Greenberg, a Democrat who won the mayoral race earlier this month, said he would appoint an interim leader to serve from January while the new leader is selected.

“The search for a new police chief will begin immediately,” Greenberg said Monday. “We will consider all applicants. I will be seeking input from members of my transition team, as well as others from across our community. »

Crime in Kentucky’s largest city was a hot topic during the mayoral race won by Greenberg, and he also became a victim after surviving a shooting at his campaign office earlier this year. His opponent, Republican Bill Dieruf, had pledged to shake up the police.

Greg Fischer, a Democrat, leaves the mayor’s office after three terms. He presided over one of the most turbulent periods in the city’s history, as a pandemic emptied the downtown business district and protesters took to the streets for months after the death of Taylor. Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice charged three Louisville officers with conspiring to put false information in the warrant used to search Taylor’s apartment.

Fischer thanked Shields in a press release for accepting the chief’s position during a “difficult time.” He said his focus on reducing violent crime helped cut homicides by 14% and shootings by 30% from a year ago. Louisville had two years of record homicides in 2020 and 2021.

Shields, who was Atlanta’s police chief before coming to Louisville, stepped in bottom of Atlanta Upper Post in June 2020 following the death of Rayshard Brooks. Brooks was shot in the back by police in a restaurant parking lot after reporting he had fallen asleep at the wheel in a drive-thru lane. Shields was hired by Fischer after a panel unanimously selected her during a month-long search process.

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