Attorney: Louisville Police hid past crime in Waterfront Park
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man who knows the inner workings of Louisville Police says former city leaders wanted to disguise crimes at Waterfront Park years ago.
Meanwhile, metro council members are questioning the way city administration is responding to Saturday's rash of violence.
Earlier in the week, city officials described the 21 incidents as "unusual" and the "exception to the rule."
"Nothing like this has happened in decades," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said about Saturday's string of violence, vandalism, and disorderly conduct around the downtown. Police say the crimes followed the dispersing of around 200 teens at Waterfront Park.
"For anyone to say that this has never happened, or hasn't happened in decades is flat wrong," said Metro Councilmember Jerry Miller, referring to an incident in 2011 when a group of teenagers assaulted a disabled man outside Slugger Field.
Miller says the city promised to increase patrols in the area following the attack.
"That was three years ago, what's happened since then?"
Attorney Thomas McAdam was legal counsel to Louisville Police for ten years. He claims officers were directed to hide crime problems in the park.
"After Waterfront Park was built, there was a directive informally from the Mayor's office not to report too many crimes in the park because they didn't want to scare people off," McAdams said.
According to McAdams, officers were directed to put a street name on the police report and never list "Waterfront Park" as the location. Police say that is standard procedure.
McAdams believes the current administration knows nothing about the directive, but thinks the effects may linger with veteran officers.
"I'm confident that this administration had no part of it," McAdams emphasized.
There was only one arrest Saturday night, and at 18-years-old, the suspect was a legal adult.
Police say teens can be taken into custody, but that officers must actually witness them committing a crime. In regards to Saturday's events, police say there is nothing illegal about forming a mob of people.
McAdams said even if more juveniles were arrested, it wouldn't mean an end to the violence. He describes the Kentucky juvenile justice system as "frustrating."
"It's very frustrating for the police to deal with juvenile justice because they know that they'll go down to the courthouse, cool their heels for a couple hours, and the kid will go home as if nothing happened," said McAdams.
And even with several concerns regarding a systematic breakdown, Councilmember Miller says the priority is to stop the violence.
"We're not worried at this point with pointing fingers, there's plenty of time for that, let's get the problem fixed," Miller said.
Ultimately, Miller added, Metro Louisville likely needs more officers to deal with this problem.
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