• The Lousiville City Council passed a vote of no confidence in Mayor Greg Fischer for his handling of the Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and civil unrest investigations
  • The council's first resolution draft explicitly called for Fischer to resign, but the second offered a list of ways for Fischer to regain the public's trust
  • Both Fischer and the council acknowledged the offices would need to work together better going forward

The Louisville, Kentucky, City Council passed a vote of no confidence in Mayor Greg Fischer over the handling of Breonna Taylor’s death and offered him a simple choice: Work to regain the public’s trust or resign, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

The council voted 22-4 during what was described as a tense three-hour meeting where the council debated how to best address the handling of Taylor’s case.

In its first draft, the council was extremely critical of Fischer for how he’s handled the case, along with the investigation into David McAtee’s shooting and general civil unrest since the Black Lives Matter protests began in May and asked the mayor to resign.

However, the resolution was amended to include a list of recommended actions Fischer can take to regain public trust through greatly improving transparency in regards to the investigation.

“I would just say that I hope we take this as an opportunity to find a path forward,” Councilman Markus Winkler said during the meeting. “I hope the administration sees it as an opportunity to work together to improve the lives for all of the residents of Louisville Metro, and I appreciate President James's work and everyone else's work on this.”

At the top of the list of recommendations was providing the “complete investigative findings” from investigations into Taylor and McAtee’s shootings and the subsequent civil unrest to the public. Fischer would also need to conduct “a detailed question and answer session by members of the council and the media.”

Other recommendations included:

  • Making any city officials available for questioning by the city council over Fischer’s handling of the investigations.
  • Offering public accounts of all internal police investigations, completing a “top-to-bottom review of the LMPD” by the end of 2020.
  • Ensuring police reforms stand.
  • Protecting neighborhoods at risk of gentrification by promoting “wealth-building” in impoverished neighborhoods without displacement.

The city council acknowledged these are simply recommendations and cannot take legislative action to enforce them or remove Fischer from office, but it hopes the mayor will work with the council to enact these recommendations. Fischer echoed this sentiment in a public address he posted to his Twitter after the vote.

Multiple police reforms have already been instituted since Taylor was killed during a police raid on her home in March. Police obtained a no-knock warrant over suspicion her home was involved in a narcotics ring in the city, though this was proven to be false. She was shot eight times after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired in what he said was an act of self-defense as the three officers involved were not uniformed and didn’t identify themselves.

Walker shot one of the officers in the leg while he was unharmed and taken into custody on multiple charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, which were later dropped.

Taylor’s family did reach a settlement with Louisville officials to end their wrongful death lawsuit against the city on Tuesday. The family will receive $12 million, the largest payout for police misconduct in the city’s history, and more police reforms will be instituted.

One officer involved in the shooting was fired while the other two were placed on administrative duties while the investigation was ongoing. No arrests have been made in relation to Taylor’s shooting.

McAtee was killed on June 1 during the first nights of the Black Lives Matter protests in the city. Investigators said a small crowd gathered by McAtee’s restaurant for a normal weekly occasion when police and Kentucky National Guard arrived to enforce a 9 p.m. curfew ordered due to the protests.

Surveillance footage showed police fired at least two pepper-ball rounds directly toward the restaurant, one of which almost struck McAtee’s relative. In response, McAtee grabbed his handgun and fired his weapon in what investigators said were warning shots as he had his hands in the air when he fired. This prompted the officers and guardsmen to fire multiple rounds in the direction of McAtee, who was killed from one shot to the chest fired by a guardsman.

The identity of the guardsman has not been released.

Breonna Taylor was killed on March 13, 2020 when three plainclothes police officers executing a "no knock" search warrant burst into her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky late at night
Breonna Taylor was killed on March 13, 2020 when three plainclothes police officers executing a "no knock" search warrant burst into her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky late at night Courtesy of Family of Breonna Taylor / -