A former assistant police chief from Kentucky told a Louisville Metro Police recruit that if he catches juveniles smoking marijuana, he should “shoot them.” Well, only if they are black.
According to documents released Friday, Todd Shaw sent several “highly disturbing racist and threatening Facebook messages” to a recruit. In fact, Shaw tried to keep the messages private. However, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled that the records must be released after media outlets requested them under Kentucky’s open records law.
The former assistant police chief allegedly told a Louisville Metro Police recruit to ‘shoot’ black juveniles if he caught them smoking marijuana.
Todd Shaw was serving as the acting chief for the city of Prospect, Kentucky. When Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell expressed his ‘serious concerns’ about Shaw in an August 31 letter to Prospect Mayor John Evans.
O’Connell wrote that Shaw exchanged ‘highly disturbing racist and threatening Facebook private messages’ with the former LMPD police recruit, according to WDRB.
Shaw and the recruit were reportedly talking about a paper the recruit had to write as a part of his training. The paper was about the ‘right thing to do’ if one was to come across three juveniles who were smoking marijuana, according to O’Connell.
‘F**k the right thing,’ Shaw allegedly wrote. ‘If black, shoot them.’
Authorities claim that Shaw made other ‘racially threatening statements,’ which included instructions on ‘how to handle the juveniles’ parents’.
‘…if mom is hot then f— her,’ Shaw allegedly wrote. ‘…if dad is hot then handcuff him and make him s— my d—.’
‘Unless daddy is black…Then shoot him…’ Shaw allegedly wrote.
Nick Mudd told ABC News that authorities found the messages while investigating a case. In addition, Shaw allegedly tried to help another officer by improperly accessing the National Crime Information Center database. Mudd said the charges were dropped against Shaw in that case because investigators found that he ‘did nothing wrong.’
In a September 2016 message, Shaw allegedly wrote:
‘What has POLICING come to when all you can shoot are white people and injured deer. Lol.’
On April 8, 2017, authorities claim Shaw referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as ‘nothing but a [racist] womanizer’. ‘But because someone shot him, I get a day off with pay each year so I will take it,’ the message allegedly stated. In the letter to the mayor, O’Connell called Shaw’s statements ‘deeply offensive and racist’.
‘There is no place in police departments for men or women who hold such strongly held prejudices. Including recommending shooting people simply because of their race.’
Former Kentucky Police Chief is Disgusting
In response to the incident, Prospect Mayor Evans said the city,
‘finds the content of the messages to be abhorrent, disgusting, and, reprehensible’.
Shaw has not been charged with any crime as a result of the records. Michael Burns, Shaw’s attorney spoke to the Louisville Courier-Journal. He said that his client ‘treated all people fairly and respectfully regardless of their race’ throughout his police career.’
After receiving the letter from Jefferson County prosecutors, Shaw was ‘immediately’ placed on paid suspension. He later resigned on November 20 after the Facebook messages were shared with the Prospect Police Department, which launched its own investigation.