Cops React to Footage in Louisville
In Louisville, Kentucky, the west end is an area full of crime and trouble. In spite of the heavy police presence in the area, there are still drug deals happening on a regular basis, and it is not uncommon to hear gun shots in the street. Just the other day, three young children were injured in a gun fight. And there are still young children who play in the area and parent who are completely ignorant to the goings on, according to a recent hidden camera investigation. And community leaders can’t seem to agree on exactly what the problem is or what is the best course of action. After the hidden camera investigation was over, the reported behind the investigation took the recorded footage to the police and showed them what he had uncovered. Their responses were some of shock and awe, and remorse. Something must be done to protect the neighborhood.
WAVE 3 was the reporting group who was in charge of the hidden camera investigation. Their undercover investigation showed drugs and a gun being passed around at the corner of 12th and Cedar in the Beecher Terrace public housing complex.
Despite heavy police presence in the neighborhood, the gun and drug activity occurred daily over the course of the two-week investigation. Children played at the community center across the street. Residents walked by the drug deals in plain view along the street. No one attempted to interfere or call police.
On May 23, four hours after WAVE 3 recorded several drug deals at the corner of 12th and Cedar, a man was shot to death in the same location.
WAVE 3 showed excerpts of the hidden camera video to Assistant Chief of Police Kenton Buckner and asked for his reaction.
“My thoughts were, that is indicative of urban areas, public housing complex, individuals involved in drug culture,” Buckner said. “It’s kind of sad to see that, that people live that way without stepping up to get more involved or to say this is unacceptable. The problem is, many of them have fear in their neighborhoods. Fear of retaliation. Many of the individuals you show walking by these incidents may be involved in the culture themselves.”
Our investigation noted police pass by as often as every 15 minutes. They also get out of their vehicles, knock on doors and question residents. When they leave the neighborhood, the drug activity fires up again. Children often played around people buying and using drugs.
“That’s one of the frustrating parts for law enforcement,” Buckner said. “I assure you that a great number of the individuals you captured on video have criminal histories, been arrested by police, been through the court system and are right back out on the street. We know we’re not going to be able to arrest our way out of this situation. It’s going to require more than just police to solve this.”
Buckner said their emphasis right now is on bridging partnerships with the residents so they feel safe enough to pick up the telephone and call police when they witness illegal activity.