September 27, 2023

Louisville Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Gwynn-Villaroel will proceed to function head of the division, which has been in turmoil for the reason that police killing of Breonna Taylor in 2020, and got here below fireplace this 12 months in a scathing U.S. Justice Division report.

Ms. Gwynn-Villaroel, 49, will turn into the primary black girl to function everlasting chief of the Louisville Metro Police Division. She has been interim chief since January, following the resignation of her predecessor, Erica Shields, one in every of a number of current management adjustments.

“Over the previous six months, Chief Gwynn-Villaroel has proven our metropolis that she has precisely what I am on the lookout for in a chief and precisely what our neighborhood is on the lookout for in a frontrunner,” Mayor Craig Greenberg, who took workplace in January, stated Thursday in a press launch asserting her hiring. “She has a variety of expertise in main regulation enforcement and reforms.”

Chief Gwynn-Villaroel, a 26-year regulation enforcement veteran, joined the division in 2021 as a deputy chief, having spent her whole profession with the Atlanta Police Division.

Gwynne-Villaroel first served below Ms. Shields in Atlanta till Ms. Shields retired after police shot Rayshard Brooks in 2020.

Gwynn-Villaroel is the fifth individual to guide the Louisville police since June 2020, when Chief Steve Conrad was fired after officers killed a preferred restaurant proprietor in a shootout throughout summer season protests. Two interim chiefs modified earlier than Ms. Shields took over the division in January 2021.

The Louisville Police Division started to come back below scrutiny in 2020 after cops shot and killed Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room employee, in her residence throughout a raid with out a warrant in the midst of the evening. Final 12 months, 4 officers concerned within the taking pictures had been charged.

However tensions between police and metropolis residents had been mounting lengthy earlier than Ms Taylor’s demise.

In March, the US Division of Justice launched the outcomes of an investigation that concluded that the Louisville Police Division routinely violated the constitutional rights of residents.

“For a few years, the LMPD has practiced an aggressive policing fashion that it employs selectively, particularly in opposition to blacks, but additionally in opposition to susceptible individuals all through town,” the report stated.

Ms Gwynne-Villaroel stated Thursday she is going to deal with restoring public confidence and lowering town’s violent crime charge.

“We perceive that we should proceed to work on these relationships and construct on the belief of the neighborhood that we simply work on day by day,” Ms. Gwynn-Villaroel stated at a press convention. “We’re investing in ensuring we’re doing it proper.”

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