LMPD Chief Steve Conrad says number of police shootings recently is 'concerning'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police Chief Conrad expressed concern about the number of police shootings this year but noted that in each instance, his officers have been met with "aggression," including last night when a man threw at least one knife at officers before he was shot and killed.

Police released body cam video Thursday of the third fatal shooting by officers in less than a week. The video appeared to show Officer Degerald Watson-Morton being struck in the leg with a knife thrown by the suspect, 42-year-old Isaac Jackson.

However, Jackson was not shot immediately after throwing the knife and it is unclear from the video what he was doing when a second officer, Brendan Kaiser, fired several shots, killing him. 

Conrad started the press conference by acknowledging that "this has been a difficult few days for Louisville, both for our officers and this community," and stressed that all of the shootings would be thoroughly investigated. 

He also said the department has committed to more deescalation training, including for when officers are confronted by suspects with edged weapons. 

The chief said he recognizes that "having so many incidents in a short amount of time is concerning."

And he said police will be going to scenes with backup in the immediate future because of "a number of comments on social media that appear to me to be threats to our officers."

The latest police shooting occurred a little after 10 p.m. Wednesday, on North 42nd Street in the Shawnee neighborhood. The two second division officers responded to a domestic disturbance inside a home and were confronted by Jackson, who police say was armed with at least one knife.

One of the officer's body camera videos shows Watson-Morton appearing to be struck with something as he entered the home. Kaiser reports to dispatch that the suspect had thrown a knife. 

Kaiser walks around a corner towards the man, who at that point is not seen on video, repeatedly yelling at him to show his hands. Kaiser, who has been with the department since 2016, fired nine times. Conrad noted the video does not show what Jackson was doing when he was shot and Kaiser will have to explain what he saw and why he fired his weapon. 

The house was on fire during the shooting and Kaiser told dispatch it was "getting out of control" and he needed back up as quickly. 

Conrad said "a number of knives" were later found in the home. Jackson died at the hospital and Watson-Morton was treated and released. 

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