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Statement on LMPD Treatment of Tae-Ahn Lea
Louisville, KY, April 5, 2019—The LMPD bodycam footage of the August 9, 2018 traffic stop of 18-year-old Tae-Ahn Lea has recently gone viral. As part of an ongoing investigative report, Andrew Wolfson of the Louisville Courier Journal, contacted Louisville Urban League President and CEO, Sadiqa Reynolds for comment. Below, is her complete response:
I do not have the words to express the fear and humiliation we are forced to tolerate daily. I watched this video with a lump in my throat, in a room full of Black parents, and, to a person, we are enraged. Even in the comfort of our spring break vacation rental, we found ourselves talking back to the video, holding back tears.
We understand the violence. We understand the drugs. We also understand that while those issues exist within and without our community, one fact remains – many of our children are innocent. And the data to prove these tactics successful doesn’t exist.
We cannot be so focused on the least among us that we allow this treatment to be acceptable. Imagine your child, handcuffed on the side of the street, while his car is searched and dogs sniff – all for a wide right! Be the parent getting the call that says, “Mama, they are taking me out of the vehicle. Mama, they are handcuffing me.” Be the parent watching helplessly, yet charged with protecting your son.
Police need to find a better way. Our community is tired and terrorized and, contrary to the antagonistic mocking of the officer telling the mother, “I know you don’t care,” we care very much and so does she.
Our position will be unpopular, and yet, it will remain our position.
Sadiqa N. Reynolds, Esq.
President & CEO Louisville Urban League
About the Louisville Urban League
As an active partner, leader, and catalyst, the Louisville Urban League assists African Americans, other marginalized populations, and the disadvantaged attain social and economic equality and stability through direct services and advocacy. The Louisville Urban League is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, go to www.lul.org.
Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad will be asked to provide proof to city officials that traffic stops in high-crime neighborhoods reduce violence. Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier Journal Published 6:46 a.m. ET April 5, 2019 [...]