Who was David McAtee, the Kentucky restaurant owner shot dead amid George Floyd protests?
As protests and demonstrations continue across American and the world in the wake of the racially aggravated killing of George Floyd, disturbances have claimed another life.
David McAtee, the owner of a popular barbecue outlet in Louisville, Kentucky was killed on Monday (1 June) by police as they attempted to enforce curfew in the city with the National Guard.
Amongst the backdrop of ongoing civil unrest following the death of Floyd, protesters in Louisville have been demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed in her home in March.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Who was David McAtee?
McAtee, 53, was the owner of YaYa's BBQ in Louisville, known for offering meals to police officers on one of the most popular corners of the city’s West End area.
He was killed in the Dino's Food Mart parking next to his barbecue business at around 12:15am local time Monday morning.
McAtee spoke to Louisville photography blog West of Ninth in February of this year, telling the publication he hoped to one day buy the sought after lot at 26th Street and Broadway and build a restaurant.
"I gotta start somewhere, and this is where I’m going to start," he said. "It might take another year or two to get to where I’m going, but I’m going to get there."
McAtee was well respected in the community, with hundreds of mourners returning to the spot at which he was killed hours later to show their respects.
Robert Schroeder, Deputy Chief of Police for Louisville, said McAtee was friendly to police officers: “Over the years he’s been a good friend to the police officers... frequently making sure our officers had a good meal on their shifts.”
McAtee's mother, Odessa Riley, said her son “left a great legend behind.
“He was a good person,” she said. “Everybody around him would say that. My son didn't hurt nobody. He didn't do nothing to nobody."
The incident of McAtee’s death is still under investigation by state and local police.
But Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad claimed said in a statement Monday that someone shot at officers, and officers and soldiers "returned fire."
What’s happened to the officers responsible?
Conrad has since been relieved of his duties, fired by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer after it was revealed that the authorities lacked body camera video for the investigation just hours after the Kentucky governor demanded the release of police video.
“This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated,” Fischer said. “Accordingly, I have relieved Steve Conrad of his duties.”
Deputy Chief of Police Robert Schroeder will step in immediately as chief.
The two officers who violated policy by not wearing or activating body cameras have been placed on administrative leave.
Despite the lack of body camera footage, police did manage to retrieve video that showed how the shooting unfolded “from a distance”.
“It gives an overview of the scene and clearly shows the officers reacting to gunfire,” Schroeder said.
Andy Beshear, the Democratic governor of Kentucky, said the lack of body camera footage was “unacceptable”.
“This is the entire reason that we have those cameras. And every other officers’ cameras should be reviewed, and if they captured any part of the scene it ought to be released.”
Beshear pledged the state police probe will be conducted in an “honest and transparent way that will not take months.”