Louisville officers in two unrelated shootings within 10 hours appear to have tried “everything they could do to avoid deadly force,” says Chief Robert White, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The shootings – one fatal – happened Wednesday night and early yesterday. About 5 a.m. yesterday, an officers wounded a 19-year-old man police say was coming at him with an ax. The man was in critical condition last night. In the Wednesday shooting, an officer killed a 40-year-old man who lunged at the officer with a knife as police tried to arrest him on a warrant for intimidating a witness.
Several activists say officers seem to be more aggressive than necessary. “We are tired of hearing of police-involved shootings that always end in tragedy,” said the Rev. Louis Coleman, director of the Justice Resource Center. “Target practice must stop in this city.” Dr. Joseph McMillan, chairman of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, asked, “Why is it that whenever there is a report of trouble, police rush to the scene and get in a confrontation and then kill the person?” Since 1998, police have shot and killed 13 men, seven of them African American. In the two most recent cases, the men shot and the officers involved were white.