'If black shoot them': Letter reveals comments made by former Prospect asst

Former Prospect Police Assistant Chief Todd Shaw

The former Assistant Police Chief Todd Shaw resigned a year ago after his racist suggestions about how to apprehend black people were made known by Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell. Before his resignation in November, Shaw had spent more than 20 years on the police force.

The news that a Louisville-area cop sent messages to a recruit urging him to shoot black people went public Friday, and the story struck a nerve across the country. This week, however, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled that the messages must be released to the public.

In the letter we obtained, O'Connell quotes one message as reading "F*** the right thing", Shaw said in the messages.

Police Chief Conrad said he found the messages sent by Shaw reprehensible and any person who shared his ideas had no business donning the uniform and serving members of the community.

'F**k the right thing, ' Shaw allegedly wrote.

The former assistant police chief of Prospect, Kentucky instructed a Louisville Police recruit to "shoot" juveniles caught smoking marijuana if they are black.

Shaw added, "Unless daddy is black".


Mayor Evans said that while "the human reaction would be to fire" Shaw immediately, the Louisville police department needed to investigate the matter.

"Throughout his career, he treated all people fairly and respectfully regardless of their race", Shaw's attorney, Michael Burns, told the Courier-Journal.

The incident resonates with the firing of a MS school teacher previous year who went on a racist rant on Facebook, and the firing of a law enforcement officer with the Baton Rouge office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control in 2015 for sending text messages the agency head called racist, unprofessional and offensive. Since they surfaced, O'Connell has determined not to move forward with any prosecutions in which Shaw might be called to testify, and said he would notify defense attorneys about the messages.

"If black, then shoot", one of the messages read.

When Prospect Police Chief Jeff Sherrard "began his examination of the messages ... it soon became apparent to him" that Shaw violated police standards and he was suspended which gave the police department "additional time to review the matter".

'There is no place in police departments for men or women who hold such strongly held prejudices, including recommending shooting people simply due to their race'.

The messages were discovered by officials while Shaw was under investigation for possibly interfering with a sexual abuse case, reports say. "What has he done to people of color in our community?"

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