Former Assistant Police Chief In Kentucky Exposed For Racist Messages
It doesn’t get much more disturbing than this. The former assistant police chief for the police department in Prospect, Kentucky has been exposed for allegedly sending some blatantly racist messages.
According to WBAL reports, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell penned a letter to Prospect, KY Mayor John Evans on August 31st, expressing serious concerns about the city’s assistant police chief, Todd Shaw, who was acting chief for the city at the the time.
O’Connell described how senior Jefferson County prosecutors had met with members of the Louisville Metro Police Department to review
“highly disturbing racist and threatening Facebook private messages” Shaw exchanged with a former LMPD police recruit and decide whether to file criminal against Shaw.
The messages were discovered by prosecutors while investigating a case where Shaw allegedly tried to assist another officer by improperly accessing the National Crime Information Center database. Prosecutors dropped efforts to file criminal charges in that case, according to his attorney Nick Mudd, who told ABC News Shaw “did nothing wrong.”
The Facebook messages are a different story though. O’Connell sent Evans messages which were sent in September and October of 2016 between Shaw and a recruit, discussing a paper the recruit had to write about the “right thing to do” in a scenario where he hypothetically was to encounter three juveniles smoking marijuana. The recruit seems to be looking for advice, telling Shaw, “I’m so confused about this paper,” in the message, dated Oct. 5, 2016.
“F— the right thing,” Shaw allegedly wrote. “If black shoot them.”
Shaw allegedly made other “racially threatening statements,” which included instructions on “how to handle the juveniles’ parents,” according to the letter.
“…if mom is hot then f— her,” Shaw allegedly wrote. “…if dad is hot then handcuff him and make him s— my d—.”
Shaw allegedly continued, “Unless daddy is black…Then shoot him…”
WILD right? Can you beileve this is isht? In 2016????
There’s more though. Another alleged message, dated September 24, 2016 involved the recruit telling Shaw he didn’t believe he would be the class leader in his recruit class because the class also included a former corrections officer. Shaw responded by allegedly telling the recruit he was required to sign a form saying he “wasn’t racist or associated with racists or associated with racist or hate groups per some KY law.”
“What has POLICING come to when all you can shoot are white people and injured deer,” Shaw allegedly wrote. “Lol.”
O’Connell closed his letter by issuing a warning to the mayor:
“As Jefferson County Attorney, I feel compelled to notify and warn you of Shaw’s deeply offensive and racist statements,” O’Connell wrote to the mayor. “There is no place in police departments for men or women who hold such strongly held prejudices, including recommending shooting people simply because of their race.”
O’Connell stressed how “disturbing” it was that a senior law enforcement officer with more than 20 years of experience was expressing racist views to a “young recruit.”
The letter to the mayor included attachments of the relevant Facebook messages and copied in other relevant officials, including the Prospect Police Chief and the Louisville Metro Police Chief.
Some other disturbing alleged messages from Shaw include an April 8, 2017 message referring to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as “nothing but a [racist] womanizer,” but adding,
“But because someone shot him, I get a day off with pay each year so I will take it.”
Another alleged message, dated March 6, 2017 involved Shaw stating he needed “target practice” when referring to the “revitalized Russell neighborhood,” named after African-American educator and Kentucky native Harvey Clarence Russell.
According to WBAL reports, after receiving the letter from Jefferson County prosecutors, Shaw was placed on paid suspension. He later resigned on November 20. The Prospect Police Department also launched it’s own investigation after the records were shared.
It looks like the drama is still ongoing though because according to reports, last Thursday Shaw filed a motion for a restraining order or temporary injunction in a Jefferson County circuit court, seeking to have the Facebook records deemed exempt from inspection, according to court documents. The motion was denied.
Since Shaw was the assistant police chief and acting chief for Prospect as the time of his resignation, “that responsibility lends itself to a higher level of public scrutiny,” Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman states in the court document.
“While the Court understands how embarrassing the documents may be to Shaw personally, they are not of the private nature intended to be shielded from public disclosure,” McDonald-Burkman wrote. “The documents reveal opinions and prejudices that bring into question Shaw’s integrity as a law enforcement officer who has been entrusted to serve and protect all members of society.”
Shaw has not been charged with any crime as a result of the records, the motion states.
He hasn’t been charged with a crime but
The lawyer representing Shaw in his civil case, Michael Burns, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Shaw, throughout his police career, “treated all people fairly and respectfully regardless of their race.”
“His Facebook messages were made privately between colleagues and friends who shared the reality of being police officers in today’s culture where police are demonized and demoralized for doing what is required to keep the community safe,” Burns told the paper. “Actions speak louder than words and Mr. Shaw’s actions during his career speak for themselves. He is not a racist in any sense of the word.”
According to a statement from the City of Prospect, Shaw began working with the department on June 4, 2012, and was not issued any reprimands or other disciplinary actions during his employment there.
Wow, so that’s such a relief. He just happens to send racist private Facebook messages, but no reprimands while on the job. SMH. Oh and for those of you wondering, the recruit Shaw was allegedly exchanging messages with was hired on Oct. 17, 2016 but resigned on Feb. 27, 2017, prior to graduating from the LMPD’s basic academy, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Guess he realized he had no business wearing a uniform. If only the other racist cops out here were honest enough to do the same.