Louisville Officer Involved in Fatal Shooting of David McAtee Had Mocked Protester on Facebook

One of the Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of David McAtee made a celebratory post on Facebook beforehand, praising other officers for shooting protesters with pepper balls. Officer Katie Crews was among those that fired on a crowd of protesters in Louisville, Kentucky, late on Sunday night, killing McAtee, a beloved local restauranteur. Before that, she had also gloated about other demonstrators getting hurt, and threatened to fire at them again.

Crews' inflammatory Facebook post was found after the killing of David McAtee in the early morning hours of Monday, June 1. It showed that earlier in the week, she had posted a photo from a Courier-Journal photographer on her page, which showed her face-to-face with a female protester, who was offering Crews flowers. However, Crews' caption read: "I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt. She was saying and doing a lot more than 'offering flowers' to me. Just so for it to be known. For anyone that knows me and knows that facial expression tells everything." Crews added, "Come back and get ya some more ole girl, I'll be on the line again tonight."

Crews was one of two officers that fired into a Louisville crowd of protesters on Sunday night, along with several members of the National Guard. The other was officer Allen Austin, and neither he nor Crews had any body camera footage of the incident. According to the LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, a shot came out of the crowd toward the police at the time, and the officers "returned fire." Their shots hit and killed McAtee, the only casualty, though police have not proven that he was the one who fired the inciting shot.

Conrad was fired after this incident — though he was already set to retire at the end of the month — and replaced with new LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder. Crews was placed on administrative reassignment on Monday, and Schroeder said that he is aware of her Facebook post as well. He is starting a professional standards investigation into her social media presence.

McAtee, 53, was described by friends and family as a "community pillar." He owned and operated YaYa's BBQ in western Louisville, and was known for his generosity and charisma. His mother, Odessa Riley told reporters: "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." The state, local and federal governments have all opened investigations into McAtee's death.