Former Kentucky Police Official Encouraged Recruit to Shoot Black People

In 2016, a police recruit in Kentucky turned to the acting police chief of a nearby department for advice on an assignment. The replies he received included racist and pro-rape vulgarities — as did his own replies.

Recently, it was revealed that Todd Shaw, the assistant police chief of Prospect, a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky, sent unambiguously discriminatory messages to the recruit when he served as acting police chief of the department.

While under investigation for allegedly accessing a federal criminal database without authorization, prosecutors discovered Shaw’s alarming Facebook messages.

At the time, an unidentified recruit seeking to join the Louisville Metro Police Department requested help with an essay assignment, asking what should be done if an officer comes upon three youths smoking marijuana.

The recruit says that he reached out to Shaw for guidance — and his response with was nothing short of disturbing.

“F*** the right thing. If black shoot them,” wrote Shaw. Using graphic language, he goes on to tell the recruit to sexually assault the individuals if their parents get involved.

While the illegal database access charges were dropped against Shaw, these troubling messages have prompted a separate civil trial against him.

Since the emergence of Black Lives Matter, critics have countered by dismissing some of the movement’s grievances. These refutations range from the tone-deaf proclamation that “all lives matter” to claims that racism among law enforcement officers isn’t systemic or widespread.

But this increased focus on discrimination continues to reveal an ever-growing number of incidents and data to reinforce Black Lives Matter’s cause. And this is merely another one to add to the list.

Though Shaw is no longer serving with the Prospect Police Department and has been roundly condemned, the event highlights a troubling mentality within some law enforcement circles. After all, it’s doubtful that these messages were the first and only instances of Shaw expressing repulsive view points. They only came to light due to an unrelated investigation — and none of his peers came forward of their own volition.

What’s worse, Shaw managed to rise to a position of authority, despite all this. Though his lawyer maintains that Shaw’s service record shows no evidence that he acted on his racism, he clearly had no problem encouraging and fostering such discrimination in others. Shaw was influencing someone who would have been on the street, dealing with black residents — and putting their lives in danger.

Shaw may indeed be a “bad apple,” a metaphor that opponents of police reform like to trot out, but as the rest of the saying goes: “One bad apple ruins the bunch.”

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes/Flickr


DAVID f11 days ago


Christine Stewart

Terrifying that this guy was in charge of anything involving guns!

Stephanie s
Stephanie s21 days ago

Thank you

Stephanie s
Stephanie s21 days ago

Thank you

Maureen G
Maureen G24 days ago

Very disturbing.

Dot A
Dot A24 days ago

Absolutely HORRIBLE!!! The system must allow such racist hate, or at least not vet the mentally unfit to serve the public, or this lunatic could not have reached such a position. While ignorance is no excuse, in the law, obviously, this ignorant hate filled, control freak is getting away with unconscionable behavior - BECAUSE he can! Our nation must rid itself of this prevalent mentality, across all diversity of human beings. I consider anyone who falls into the 'hate another' for superficial differences to be a low esteemed individual, who is dangerous to all others and unfit for public service. Our public services must reach a new level of acceptance when hiring anyone into such a position of power. I believe there is a majority of good people who feel the same. We all must Care2 heal this world of such diseases which plague our global society. We can!!!

Lesa D
Lesa D24 days ago

this is an excuse for a human being...

thank you Llowell...

Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O26 days ago

‘One of the great reasons of separation is colour. Look how this prejudice has power in America, for instance. See how they hate one another! Animals do not quarrel because of their colour!
Surely man, who is so much higher in creation, should not be lower than the animals. Think over this. What ignorance exists! White doves do not quarrel with blue doves because of their colour, but white men fight with dark-coloured men.
This racial prejudice is the worst of all.
The Old Testament says- God created man like unto His own image
The Quran, it says- There is no difference in the Creations of God!
Think well, God has created all, cares for all, and all are under His protection.
The policy of God is better than our policy. We are not as wise as God!’-- Baha’i Faith Writings

Just H
Just Human27 days ago

Nobody is born with such hate and smug superiority. The sad thing is parents imprint their hate on their children. Breaking this cycle is what's needed to move forward as a species.

Danii P
Danii P28 days ago