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

74 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

ty

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John B
John B5 months ago

Thanks Llowell for sharing the info. Quite disturbing.

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DAVID f
Dave fleming6 months ago

TY

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