BLMLouisville/SUS statement regarding LMPD policy changes
Updated: May 11, 2019
May 9, 2019
LMPD Lean Right On Out Of West Louisville.
The LMPD policy changes that Chief Conrad announced on Thursday, May 9 will do nothing to mitigate police violence against Black and Brown people in Louisville, nor will any cursory trainings to teach officers to conduct their duties “without bias.”
The changes only reflect how militarized our police are, reminding officers, “Merely being nervous or in a high-crime area are not sufficient factors, by themselves, to conduct a pat down search. Pat downs will not be conducted as a matter of routine.”
This language confirms for officers that their racial bias is understandable. This is unacceptable.
Statements like these throughout the updated policy document serve as illustrations that “being nervous” around Black people, or being in a “high crime,” (read non-white) area are not reason enough to treat anyone those police may encounter as if they are a criminal. Meanwhile, LMPD’s prolific presence in the West End is daily physical proof that residents are suspect.
Those of us with disabilities are at much higher risk. These updates completely fail to address the real danger Louisville residents feel, and the fear many of us have for ourselves, our children, our friends, and loved ones.
All of Chief Conrad’s new guidelines require the same thing to even begin to be effective -- officers who are cognizant of racial bias in their perceptions and are working against them. These hypothetical officers would have the training and resources to help people who are traumatized, people with disabilities, people unable to comply with orders because they are neurodiverse or because they are deaf.
We demand that LMPD stop criminalizing and profiling Louisville residents and that the Ninth Mobile Division be disbanded. There is no excuse for the terror this unit spreads within our neighborhoods. Assign those officers to other divisions, so they become known to and familiar with the communities in which they work. "We can never gauge how much crime has been prevented," Ninth Mobile Division Commander Hibbs said.
We can know how much the 9th Division and this kind of policing has cost, financially, but there is no way to quantify the pain they have inflicted, the lives forever changed or lost.
We demand outside accountability on LMPD’s new training procedures. We have a Citizens Commision on Police Accountability for a reason. We would like to hear how officers are instructed to proceed “without bias.” LMPD has never admitted bias to begin with, let alone how they wield that bias against Black families in the schools and in the streets.
Begin reparations now. Correct the hyper-criminalization of Black and Brown people from cradle to grave. End cash bail so people can tend to their jobs and families. Invest all that police money into affordable housing and into meeting peoples’ basic health, transportation and grocery needs. These strategies actually stabilize neighborhoods and families, and reduce stress and crime.