George Floyd's murder has sparked protests all across the country. A protest demonstration in Louisville, Kentucky reportedly turned deadly on Monday morning, according to the Courier-Journal. David McAtee, 53, the owner of YaYa's BBQ in western Louisville, was reportedly shot and killed by law enforcement officers on Monday morning. The incident is now under state and local police investigation.
Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said in a statement on Monday that someone shot at officers and that both officers and soldiers from the National Guard "returned fire." Details regarding the identity of the suspect and the law enforcement officers who returned fire have not yet been released. The Courier-Journal later reported that Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that the officers involved in this incident, which took place at around 12:15 a.m. local time, were either not wearing body cameras or did not have them activated. Police Chief Conrad has since been fired following this incident (Conrad had previously announced his resignation in May). Fischer said, "This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated."
Governor Andy Beshear has since ordered the Kentucky State Police to investigate the shooting of McAtee, who was known as a "community pillar." McAtee's mother, Odessa Riley, shared about her son, "He left a great legend behind. He was a good person. Everybody around him would say that. My son didn't hurt nobody. He didn't do nothing to nobody." McAtee was the owner and operator of YaYa's BBQ, which is located on one of the West End's most popular corners. In a recent interview with February, McAtee shared his excitement over being able to run his own business in that specific location.
“I’ve been doing this for about 30 years, but I’ve been here for two," he told West of Ninth in February. "This location is one of the busiest locations in west Louisville. I always wanted to be in this spot, and when the opportunity came, I took it." McAtee shared that he had hopes to eventually build a brick-and-mortar restaurant on 26th and Broadway. He continued, "I gotta start somewhere, and this is where I’m going to start. It might take another year or two to get to where I’m going, but I’m going to get there."
McAtee was known for feeding those in the neighborhood for free, including the police. His mother explained, "He fed them free. He fed the police and didn't charge them nothing." She continued, "My son was a good son. All he did on that barbecue corner is try to make a dollar for himself and his family. And they come along and they killed my son."