Trending Topics

Louisville PD chief: No further action to be taken against officers in DOJ probe

Chief Gwinn-Villaroel said no further investigations or disciplinary measures will be conducted against the officers accused of misconduct in the report


Louisville Metro Police Department

By Sarah Roebuck

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Police Chief Jackie Gwinn-Villaroel has declared that no further investigations or disciplinary measures will be conducted against the officers accused of misconduct in a report by the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this year, Louisville Public Media reports.

The report by the DOJ, examining incidents from 2016 to 2021, found that the LMPD had a consistent pattern of unconstitutional policing and discrimination against Black citizens. It also criticized the department’s leadership for consistently neglecting to investigate and impose discipline for clear instances of misconduct.

While Gwinn-Villaroel stated that there will be no ensuing action against the officers mentioned in the report, she affirmed that the LMPD is dedicated to rectifying the systemic issues identified by the DOJ.

“My success is not to be measured on the amount of discipline imposed, but by creating a culture for officers who are well-trained and supervised with clear expectations and values,” Gwinn-Villaroel said.

The release of around 50 hours of body camera footage linked to the incidents outlined in the DOJ report was also made public by the police department. In May, the LMPD established a website cataloging each incident, along with any related reports or investigations.

Out of the 62 instances of alleged misconduct pointed out by the DOJ, Gwinn-Villaroel mentioned that the LMPD has already conducted investigations into over 30 cases and administered disciplinary actions, including terminations, in almost 20 cases. This implies that there are approximately 30 incidents where officers will not face investigation or disciplinary measures.

Gwinn-Villaroel pointed out that certain policies within LMPD that were in effect during the alleged misconduct period did not “promote improved oversight.” She mentioned that with the recent policy revisions implemented by the department, some of the actions by officers emphasized in the report might have justified disciplinary measures. Additionally, a few officers chose to resign or retire before any investigations could be initiated.

On Thursday, Mayor Craig Greenberg stated that LMPD officers have several safeguards of due process according to Kentucky’s Police Officer’s Bill of Rights and the collective bargaining agreement established between the city and the police union. Greenberg noted that a few of the officers mentioned in the DOJ report have already faced “significant disciplinary measures” for additional instances of misconduct that were not covered in the report.

Negotiations are underway between Louisville Metro and the DOJ to establish a consent decree, which will function as a guide for forthcoming reforms. This decree will delineate numerous adjustments to policies and training. Moreover, its implementation progress within the city will be supervised by a federal judge.