A new Citizens Commission on Police Accountability in Louisville will review a detective’s fatal shooting of a handcuffed man who was armed with a box-cutter knife, says the Louisville Courier-Journal. The panel can recommend policy changes to the mayor but has no power to change the discipline meted to officers.
Six months after Detective Michael O’Neil fatally shot the man, Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White announced yesterday that neither O’Neil nor his partner will be disciplined.
“There is no question in my mind that in the mind of Officer O’Neil …his life was in jeopardy,” White said.
James Edward Taylor, 50, was shot 11 times on Dec. 5 in his apartment by O’Neil, who said he feared for his life because Taylor was lunging at him with the box cutter.
The Taylor shooting prompted a series of demonstrations, and civil – rights activists denounced White’s decision yesterday. “This just shows that an African American’s life is not worth a dime in this city, and that is really sad,” said the Rev. Louis Coleman of the Justice Resource Center. Taylor was African American; both detectives are white.