Sunday, August 21, 2005

Increasing Metro Violence

The TV news reports that another man died in Louisville tonight in a confrontation with police. I don’t know how many this makes this year, but the numbers seem to be increasing annually.

Usually the deaths have been the result of police shootings and have occurred in the West End, a primarily Black section of the city; however, the little that has been reported on this man's death indicates that no weapons were involved and it happened in a section of the city that is not primarily Black. Furthermore, the man evidently lived in my part of the city, which is primarily middle class.

The report I heard stated that police from a 6th Class City (a city within the city) responded to a call that a man was “acting strangely”—whatever that means. After the police restrained the 38-year-old-man, he “began having breathing problems” and was transported to a hospital where he died. That’s not a lot of information; I am sure more will be made available.

What concerns me is not solely the number of deaths at the hands of police, but the overall increase in violence in Metro Louisville this year. For example, just a few weeks ago, on August 3rd, three homicides occurred within eight hours of each other. That brought the Metro Louisville's homicide rate for 2005 up to 45, compared to 36 homicides in the city at the same point in 2004.

I believe something must be done, but I don’t know what. Many years ago, the police had social workers occasionally riding with them to assist in defusing potentially violent situations. Back then I took my turn and found the police officers willing to do just about anything other than using their pistols. More recently, one of the police districts was recruiting pastors to be available to work with police. I was part of that group when I actively pastored a church. I think the idea had merit, but I have heard nothing about it from my peers since I became an officer of the Association.

The baseline for me is that something needs to be done to curb the violent behavior in this city. I am open to any and all suggestions you may have.


  1. wow. that is some sad stuff. Guess it is hard to call though (as in who is really at fault.. the police, or the person they are arresting).
    What type of church did you pastor?

  2. Today's newspaper reports that the preliminary autopsy results showed effects that were "consistent with cocaine intoxication." I don't know is that is the explanation.

    Thnaks for asking, Audrey: I'm an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ (

  3. very cool.
    Your blog is interesting.. keep it up!

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