By Sandra Harris
Amidst ongoing protests in Louisville, Kentucky against the recent police murders of both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, a Black man and owner of Yaya’s BBQ, was killed early Monday morning at his business by Louisville Police and National Guard troops. His body was left on the street for 12 hours after he was killed.
McAtee was known as a pillar in his community and had been in the barbeque business for 30 years with plans to expand his local business. He was known to give food out for free, even to local police. McAtee’s nephew Marvin said his uncle “Fed everybody, even the people that killed him. For free.”
The police and military response was sent out to suppress rebellion and enforce the city’s 9pm curfew. Officers used pepper balls to disperse crowds, and fired live ammunition which struck and killed David McAtee. Louisville Police released video footage which they claim shows David McAtee firing a gun first before officers killed him. His family has disputed this, his nephew Marvin McAtee saying that “…the only way he could die is saving somebody.”
In the two videos, one from inside McAtee’s business and the other outside shows about a dozen people rushing inside the open door as police advance on them. McAtee then reaches out of the doorway, afterward he clutching his chest, stumbling back inside and collapsing on the floor.
The veracity of the claims made by police are still unclear, and should not be trusted. Regardless, it is justified for anyone, especially Black people, to arm and defend themselves from the police.
Later on Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired the Chief of Police when it was revealed officers who responded to the scene Monday morning had all failed to activate their body cameras. These meaningless reforms do not change the outcome when it comes to the ruthless murder of Black people by police.
Rebellion has advanced in Louisville in the past week for the police killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who would have turned 27 this week, who was murdered after police illegally entered and raided her home.