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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The former assistant police chief of Prospect told a Louisville Metro Police recruit that, if he catches juveniles smoking marijuana, he should "shoot them” if they are black, according to documents released Friday.
Todd Shaw, who resigned from the suburban Louisville department late last year, sent several “highly disturbing racist and threatening Facebook messages” to the recruit, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell wrote in a letter to Prospect Mayor John Evans on Aug. 31.
Shaw had fought to keep the messages private after media outlets requested them under Kentucky’s open records law. Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled this week that the records must be released.
Shaw was initially suspended with pay on Sept. 1. Prospect Police Chief Jeff Sherrard was not in the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.
In an interview, Evans said that after receiving O'Connell's letter, "the human reaction would be to fire" Shaw, but the department needed to conduct its own investigation.
After Sherrard "began his examination of the messages ... it soon became apparent to him" that Shaw had violated police standards, according to a press release sent out by Evans Friday afternoon. Shaw was suspended giving the department "additional time to review the matter." The city said it followed the disciplinary protocol established by the city's "Police Officer Bill of Rights."
When Sherrard later presented the findings to Shaw on Nov. 20, Shaw resigned, Evans said.