Louisville Cops Walk Out on Mayor Over Frustrations About His Leadership

A large group Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers walked out on Mayor Greg Fischer Wednesday over their frustrations about his leadership.

Phone recordings of the incident show police officers booing Fischer when he walked into a large room full of officers who were arriving for the night shift Wednesday afternoon. The vast majority of the officers walked out leaving the mayor alone with some who did stay to speak with him.

Ryan Nichols, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in River City, a fraternity of law enforcement officers, told WAVE 3 News that officers in the LMPD do not feel the mayor's support in the midst of the protests.

"The mayor is the leader of our city, including this police department. For this to be the first time he's tried to address his officers who have been working in these extremely treacherous conditions after he has made numerous attempts to address other entities, they feel completely disrespected and unsupported by him," Nichols said.

Jean Porter, the mayor's communications director, told Newsweek that Fischer was "simply passing through the area after stopping in to talk with commanding officers," and was not attempting to address the room of officers.

In a statement from addressing the incident, Fischer said that the LMPD officers were expressing their frustration from "putting in long hours" and "suffering insults and assaults from people they are working to protect."

"They are worried for their families and this city. They are frustrated, and some of them expressed that frustration today. I absolutely respect that. That doesn't change my appreciation of the work they are doing, as I've expressed time and again. They have a very difficult job. I hope our residents will embrace our police officers as guardians – I know that's how the vast, vast majority view their role," Fischer stated.

Louisville has been one of many cities across the country that have seen protests beginning last week after the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. While most protests have been peaceful in the city, there has been much destruction and looting as well. An exchange of gunfire with the LMPD left one man dead on Monday, resulting in the firing of the LMPD Chief Steve Conrad. The two officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave.

Fischer placed a curfew on the city over the weekend to attempt to quell the destruction, which he decided to lift Thursday.

"Because we have experienced seven shootings on Thursday night a week ago, the following night followed with a very difficult night of looting in our city, we wanted to use every tool that we could to makes sure that we could maintain calm," Fischer said on the curfew, which he noted did help.

"I just want to announce right now that we are ending the curfew that has been in place the past several days. So that's effective immediately," the mayor said after stating that the last several nights the protests have been largely peaceful."

The LMPD first came under fire after the death of Breonna Taylor on March 13, after three police officers forcibly entered an apartment unannounced when carrying out a "no-knock" search warrant for drugs. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at the officers first, hitting one, before police shot back and hitting Taylor. Charges were brought up on Walker that have since been dropped. All three officers were placed on administrative leave, and the FBI is investigating the shooting.

 Protests Continue In Louisville Over Deaths In Recent Police Shootings
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 29: A window of the metro police headquarters damaged during protests is seen on May 29, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Brett Carlsen/Getty