Report: Louisville Police Hid 738,000 Records Alleging Sexual Abuse By Officers
A new report by the Louisville Courier-Journal alleges that the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department hid at least 738,000 sexual abuse complaints against its officers.
The staggering report comes after a year-long investigation into sexual abuse allegations against two officers who oversaw the department’s Explorer Scout program for young people interested in law enforcement careers.
The Courier-Journal filed a Freedom Of Information Act request and was told by the department and Jefferson County district attorneys that they were unable to comply because the records had been turned over to the FBI, who were investigating the complaints.
As a result of an appeal filed by the newspaper, they learned that the department still had hundreds of thousands of records that the City of Louisville allowed to be deleted.
Roy Denny, the Assistant County Attorney, admitted in a letter to the Courier-Journal’s attorneys that 9,700 folders that contained 738,000 documents and a total of 470 gigabytes of data were located in a secret folder.
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Denny claims the files, therefore, would have been accessible on Louisville’s encrypted backup system for 30 days. However, since that much time had passed, there was no way they could be recovered.
The Explorer Scout program was reportedly rampant with sexual abuse claims, which started in October 2016 up until the program was ended in March 2017.
Richard Green, the Courier Journal’s editor, noted that LMPD’s failure to produce the documents is indicative of a systemic issue within the police department to build trust and protect the public.
“The Explorer case represents a total breakdown in trust between police and teens who had an interest in the law enforcement profession,” Green said. “To now dodge the public’s access to these documents speaks to an institutional disregard for the Open Records Act and the very residents LMPD is to serve and protect. My frustration with how it’s been handled only underscores our commitment to dig even deeper and hold those in power to account.”
The Louisville Police Department has already been under wide scrutiny over the aftermath of Breonna Taylor’s shooting death by its agency.
On March 13, Louisville police officers shot Taylor, 26, at least eight times while serving a “no-knock” narcotics search warrant at her home as part of a narcotics investigation into her former boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. However, Glover had been arrested earlier that night in a different location and no drugs were found in Taylor's home.
The police officers — Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankinson — were placed on administrative reassignment after the shooting, and Hankison was later fired.