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CAPA Press Releases and Action Alerts
Please note that computer malfunctions have caused the loss of some of our archives, so this listing of press releases and actions alerts is far from complete.
Press Statement, September 26, 2003
CAPA Response to the Report of the Citizens Commission on Police Accountability on the Police Shooting of James Taylor.
Press Release, March 5, 2003
Town Hall Meeting at University of Louisville in the Aftermath of James Taylor Shooting.
Media Advisory, March 5, 2003
Louisville Boycott and Grocery Shopping Caravan to Indiana.
Media Advisory, December 23, 2002
People's Protest on the Louisville Police Department Continues.
Media Advisory, December 13, 2002
Congressman John Conyers to Join Protestors.
Media Advisory, December 8, 2002
Community Protest of the Latest Shooting Death of a Handcuffed African American in Louisville, Kentucky.
Press Statement, February 1, 2002
Regarding the Mayor's Response to the Strategic Planning Leadership Committee's Report on Community Oriented Policing.
Press Statement, October 25, 2001
Regarding the Strategic Planning Leadership Committee (SPLC) Report.
Action Alert,June 2001
East End March for Civilian Review and Against the War on Drugs.
Press Statement, May 25, 2001
Statement on Louisville Police Department Racial Profiling Report.
Press Release, May 8, 2001
CAPA Response to Court Ruling on Civilian Review Board.
Press Release, January 15, 2001
Protest at The MLK Dream Awards Ceremony.
We want to thank members of the Citizens Commission on Police Accountability for their commitment of time and energy to this important work. We commend you for your dedication to this community, as evidenced by your report, yesterday, on the shooting death of James Taylor by Louisville Police Dept.
While it is good that the Commission has uncovered some problems with the investigation that need to be addressed, it is important to remember that the Commission was only reviewing the police investigation, and not the incident itself. The Commission on which you serve and the 2000 Civilian Review Ordinance are not in conflict. You have been asked to review information provided by the police, whereas the 2000 Ordinance calls for an independent office to professionally investigate the facts.
We call on the Commission to acknowledge that their role has been a limited one, and is not what the community has requested in the area of police reform. Let us repeat, in public, our five recommendations, which we have presented to you, previously.
We hope that you will support us in our continued insistence on the implementation of the 2000 Civilian Review Ordinance. This ordinance has been thoroughly examined by the people and the press, and passed with wide-spread public support, and expresses the will of the people.
Additionally, the Commission should ask the Mayor and Metro Council to work with the Jefferson County delegation to the Kentucky state legislature to make changes to the police officers' bill of rights that would make sure that it does not prevent a thorough, independent investigation into whether the officer violated police procedure and is able to meet the high demands of such stressful work.
The Commission should, also, state clearly that the Mayor and the Police Chief have the duty to release any police officer who is unsuited by temperament for police work. This release should occur whether or not the police officer's actions rise to the level of a crime.
Furthermore, the Commission should state that it intends to play the same role of the Coroner's Inquest (abandoned by the current Coroner) and educate the people as to details of police killings.
And finally, the Commission should state that future appointments to the Commission should not be limited to people who have never been arrested. Good citizens have been arrested and have valuable knowledge as to the reality of the system.
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Concerned students, faculty, staff, and citizens, are presenting a campus-community Town Hall meeting to begin the process of contextualizing the issues we now face in Louisville in the wake of the death of James Taylor and other cases which have rightfully caused a great deal of alarm and angst in many quarters of our city.
Program participants include:
Frank X. Walker, Poet and Author;
Dr. J. Blaine Hudson, Chair of the University of Louisville's Pan-African Studies Department;
Kentucky State Representative Reginald Meeks;
Christine Jones, (CAPA) Citizens Against Police Abuse;
Atty. Laura Douglas, Chair of Louisville's Civilian Review Board;
Attys. Brian Edwards and Christopher Lasch, Criminal Defense Lawyers;
Janice Carter, President of Louisville's NAACP Chapter.
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Day: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 3003
Time: 12:00 Noon
Where: Big A shopping center at Cane Run Rd. and Algonquin
Parkway, Louisville, Kentucky
Grocery shopping caravan to Indiana
Leaving from the Big A shopping center at
Cane Run Rd. and Algonquin Parkway
This event will kick off the boycott and we will provide to the media the details of the boycott demands and the boycott website.
This follows the numerous killings of black men by Louisville Police officers and the recent shooting death of James Taylor, an African American man, who was shot 11 times while he was handcuffed with his hands behind his back in his apartment on December 5, 2002, by police officer. This also follows the lack of indictment, once again, of the officer who killed Taylor.
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After waves of protests this past 2 weeks in Louisville Ky over the killing of James Taylor, we continue our protests in demanding justice and calling for an end to unjust practices by the Louisville Police. This comes after 6 killings of unarmed African Americans in 2 years. The Louisville community demands that comprehensive police reforms begin now.
Monday, December 23, 2002
Louisville Police Headquarters
(7th and Jefferson)
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After waves of protests this week in Louisville Ky over the killing of James Taylor, an African American who was handcuffed, by Detective O'neil, Congressman John Conyers will join the social justice community in demanding justice. This comes after 5 killings of unarmed African Americans in 2 years. The Louisville community demands that the Chief be fired, the officers be charged, and that comprehensive police reforms begin now. This week, Dick Gregory and Martin Luther King Jr. III have joined activists. Now local activists expect to be joined by more and more national figures calling for an end to unjust practices by the Louisville Police.
Saturday 12:00 noon
Louisville Police Headquarters
(7th and Jefferson)
WHEN AND WHERE:
Monday, Dec 9 at 12:00 noon-Louisville Police Department headquarters (7th and
Jefferson, downtown Louisville)
Monday, Dec 9 at 4:30-City Hall at the Mayor's office
WHAT ARE WE PROTESTING?
The shooting death of James Taylor, an African American who was shot 12 times, by a detective, while he was in handcuffs with his hands behind his back. This happened on Thursday Dec. 5th 2002 in an apartment on East St. Catherine.
This is one of the worst cases of deadly brutality we have seen yet. It is absurd and unacceptable. It's the 2nd shooting death by police in 2 months and the 5th since 2000. Significant systemic changes must be made to prevent future killings and abuse by police officers. We have a list of changes that need to be made.
Protest organized by a wide variety of citizens who are saying this is "outrageous" and "Enough is Enough": Citizens Against Police Abuse (CAPA), The Justice Resource Center, The Ky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Fairness Campaign, ministers, and others who believe in justice.
This outrageous killing has moved many people to come together in mass to say, "stop killing our citizens!"
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Yesterday, the Mayor, the Chief of Police and the Public Safety Director responded to the Strategic Planning Leadership Committee's report on Community Oriented Policing. The Mayor said there would be a "discussion" of the report; however, there was not even a question and answer period. We are encouraged that the Mayor endorsed the majority of the report; but very disappointed that some of the key parts that CAPA members fought to have included were not endorsed, like drug treatment opportunities instead of incarceration [apparently because state laws dictate the courts]. But our elected leaders should push for just laws.
We have said all along that this community oriented policing plan is not the only solution.
The fact that the city paid out settlements to families of victims of police killings means that it acknowledges that wrong was done (although we believe the amounts are too small for the loss and pain of the children and families of the victims). Why doesn't the Mayor make real change, so that us taxpayers don't have to keep paying settlements for the same old mistakes. For example, the city and the police must:
- change its "use of force" policies and retrain officers (so they do not use unnecessary force)
- hire a different breed of officers
- push for new just laws
- prosecute officers, who wreck their cruisers after getting drunk and taking opiates, the same way citizens are prosecuted; or provide drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration for both officers and citizens.
In the meantime, CAPA has decided to pursue two new projects to address police abuse:
- We announce the creation of the Adrian Reynolds Scholarship Fund for the victims of our criminal justice system. Over and over, the police have taken away what they insist children need: their families. We feel that these children are also victims of a police culture that is too often more concerned with brutalizing minorities and then covering it up than with modeling and instilling true family values. Thus, it is our hope that this scholarship fund will help to provide an education for the children whose parents have either been killed or imprisoned by an unjust system.
- We announce that CAPA will begin to explore the possibility of creating an independent investigative body that would investigate allegations of police misconduct and brutality. The Civilian Review Board was passed into law over a year and a half ago. The FOP, against the will of the people who want a review board (as the Bluegrass poll shows) filed a motion to block this ordinance. It has been held up in court for months. The victims of police abuse cannot afford to wait any longer for a city-funded civilian review board. The evidence has shown that the police cannot police themselves and Community Oriented Policing can only address part of the problem. Thus, we will be exploring all of our options in the weeks and months ahead.
We state again, as we have in the past: we are not anti-police. We are anti-police abuse. We demand and deserve a police department that is exemplary in every way and that is subject to the same laws that the rest of us are. We await true leadership and courage from local government, but we also know that there can be no peace without justice. We condemn all acts of terrorism and violence, whether they are committed by religious extremists or power hungry cops.
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We appreciate the courage and leadership shown by those members of the Louisville Police Department (LPD), City Hall and Just Solutions, who have worked diligently with us in an attempt to provide a fair and accurate assessment of Community Oriented Policing in our community. We expect City Hall and LPD to fully commit to the philosophy known as Community Oriented Policing.
The Strategic Planning Leadership Committee (SPLC) has created a document that contains several elements that are key to the improvement of community/police relations in the city of Louisville. Specifically, the report suggests that LPD re-evaluate the effectiveness of its policies regarding 'Use of Force', racial profiling, diversity training, the public complaint process and the absolutely critical issue of incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders instead of providing them with effective drug treatment programs. In addition, we are encouraged by the commitment to public forums on controversial policing issues as outlined in the SPLC report.
However, a current component of better community/police relations, which has already been passed by the Board of Alderman, but has yet to be implemented, is the Civilian Review Board. We can not over-emphasize the importance of independent investigation of LPD, as represented in the Civilian Review Board.
As we believe that police abuse of power undermines the spirit of democracy, we hope the city and LPD will act on the exceptional points in the SPLC report and full implementation of civilian oversight with true leadership with true leadership and a sense of urgency.
It has been a privilege for us to represent the community in this ongoing dialogue.
We will continue to strive to make our leaders and public servants accountable to the people.
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We are writing to ask your support for a march that will be held in your part of town on Sunday, June 10th.
It will be a march against police mistreatment of citizens. It is being organized by East End young people who work with Citizens Against Police Abuse (CAPA). They want to demonstrate that the effort for reform of our Louisville Police Department is an issue that is not just the concern of people in the West End and not just the concern of African Americans. They want to show that it is an issue that can unite people of color and whites and thus begin to heal the deep racial divide in our community.
Among the march themes are: "The East End wants a good police department, too", and "The war on drugs destroys lives in both the East End and the West End."
This will be a peaceful demonstration, a silent march, and it will incorporate graphic symbols of death to dramatize the fact that in the past year three people have been killed at the hands of the police in our community. And hundreds more have suffered both physical and verbal abuse. This includes both African Americans and whites, especially whites who are young or may look 'different' from what some police consider 'normal'.
Marchers will gather at 11:30am at BRYCC House (Bardstown Road Youth Cultural Center at 1055 Bardstown Rd.) and begin walking at noon. They will proceed along Bardstown Rd to Louisville Police District Headquarters at 2301 Douglass Blvd. (If the starting time comes before your church service dismisses, join the march along the way. You are sure to catch up with us before the march ends.
Although organizing for the march is being led by youth, they need and want the support of people of good will of all ages.
CAPA is a coalition of more than 30 organizations in our community. Among its participants are such diverse groups as the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression, the ACLU, Kentuckiana Interfaith Community. The NAACP. Church Women United, and many other community and religious organizations. It is our position that most officers on our police force are trying to be sensitive to citizens and do a good job. CAPA is working with the police toward over-all reforms, but we know that there are 'rogue' policemen who consistently abuse their power and provoke distrust of all police. We maintain that this will not change until these 'rogues' are held individually accountable for their actions. That will be one of the messages of the June 4th march.
You can add tremendously to this effort by your presence at this march. Please come and then join us afterward for a picnic in Cherokee Park, near Hogan's Fountain. Call 778-8130 for more information.
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The Police Department's own figures discredit the conclusions it draws in its report.
The report states that 33% of Louisville's population is Black, which is true. It then says 31% of its traffic stops targeted Black drivers. But it bases its study on the total population figure, whereas only 27% of the city's driving age population is Black, and only 60% of that number are licensed drivers. To be valid, a study must compare the percentages of licensed drivers with the number of traffic stops by race. It should also be adjusted for the number of persons stopped, who were from out of town.
We believe the Police Dept. must develop a more accurate method of analyzing its traffic stops. But even this preliminary report shows that Blacks account for more harassing stops, more searches and warrant checks, and more are asked to exit their vehicles. White drivers are issued more actual citations, which indicates to us that a disproportionate number of the stops of Blacks were for harassment purposes.
If the police really want to give us a valid picture of how Blacks are treated in our city, they must also include in their study comparative figures on pedestrians stopped by police. We said this, months ago, and the County Police Dept. is doing this. Pedestrian stops are the situation in which so many young Blacks are unfairly targeted.
The Louisville police must continue their study, but must develop more valid and complete methods.
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While we are disappointed at Judge McDonald's ruling concerning the subpoena power of a civilian review board we all must agree that changes must be made in the process of policing police.
It can't be emphasized enough that while this process has dragged out for more then a year now, four unarmed men have died at the hands of the LPD under questionable circumstances and many more, that we personally know of, have had their rights violated.
We strongly feel that unless an officer is compelled to testify under oath before an independent review body the process will prove ineffective as in the case of Cincinnati.
Therefore given the court's ruling we think that the compromise proposed by the Board of Alderman in which a judge issues the actual subpoena, while a independent eleven member review panel conducts an investigation is indeed the best way to proceed at this time.
Since there is nothing in the Judge's ruling to prevent the setting up the independent panel right away with this compromise, we urge the Board of Alderman to immediately allocate funding, hire investigators and put the review board in place.
CAPA will institute a major initiative to see that is ordinance is implemented immediately.
THE BRADEN CENTER
3208 W. Broadway
778-8130, fax 778-8173, firstname.lastname@example.org
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The protest will be at 6p.m. at the Brown Theater on January 16, 2001
We will protest the incredible hypocrisy of the
Armstrong Administration for giving awards in the name Dr. Martin Luther King
while allowing the Louisville Police Department to blatantly take away the most
basic of civil and human rights from Louisville's African-American community.
At that time we will propose a real workable
solution to the Mayor and the people of the City of Louisville that will end
the crisis caused by this administration and the police in the Black community.
Last Sunday, while Clifford Lewis's Mother and Family shed tears at the
bottom of the ramp in front of LPD headquarters, Detective Bill Keeling and a
half a dozen or so other officers traded amused grins among themselves at the
top of the ramp. That contrastpainfully identifies the real problems between
LPD/FOP and the Black communityof Louisville. The police nolonger feel they
even have to put forth the illusion that they are the protectors of the Black Community.
Since over the last two (2) years, they have beaten to death and shoot
down four (4) unarmed Black men without penalty, the outrage and grief of the
hundreds of people in front of Police Headquarters to them was just a laughing
While it should be obvious to them that as community support and trust
of police and the Mayor erodes the lives of honest police officers will be
increasingly put in danger. And
like Los Angeles in 1991, just one incident like the Rodney King beating can in
the Mayor's own words "destroy the city".
Such a disaster, along with the cost in lives and property, would
forever tarnish the City of Louisville.
We hope the Mayor and the good people of Louisville consider very
carefully solutions to this grave situation.
The BRADEN CENTER, 3208 W. BROADWAY 40211
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