Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer is facing new backlash in response to the police killing of Breonna Taylor this past March — and this time it's from his own government. Lawmakers on Louisville's Metro Council handed Fischer a stinging rebuke over what they described as a failure to uphold his mayoral responsibilities, particularly in light of Taylor's death.
The resolution — officially titled "a resolution of the legislative council of the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government expressing concerns in the leadership of Mayor Greg Fischer and urging improved partnership with Metro Council to address the issues affecting the city of Louisville" — passed by an overwhelming vote of 22-4 on Thursday evening, after hours of debate. It criticizes Fischer for a lack of transparency, insufficient cooperation with the council itself, and perhaps most pointedly, failure "to hold leadership of the Louisville Metro Police Department (“LMPD”) properly accountable, thereby contributing to the civil unrest" in the city.
According to CNN, the initial resolution, proposed to the council by several Republican lawmakers, had been pointedly more critical of Fischer's leadership and called for him to step down from office. The version that ultimately passed was instead significantly amended by Democrat Markus Winkler and includes a lengthy section detailing specific ways Fischer can work to regain the trust of the council and the city.
Among the items suggested are: a complete investigation into Taylor's death at the hands of local police (who shot her in her home while executing a no-knock warrant intended for a different house entirely); a "top to bottom review" of the Louisville Metro Police department; the development of a plan for better cooperation with the council itself; and perhaps most interestingly, a call to spearhead a suite of proposals to address "social inequality, environmental inequality, and economic inequality" in the city.
The resolution concludes with a threat that "failure to advance these objectives will result in further actions by the Council."
Fischer responded to the resolution in a video statement released after the council's vote.
"We have enormous challenges ahead, and to move forward, we need to pull together," the mayor said. "We must work together in both good times and tough times like these."
Fischer also noted that "several of the policy ideas discussed by council are under way, and together we have already made changes in LMPD policies and procedures."
Earlier this week, Fischer and the city of Louisville reached a multi-million dollar settlement with Taylor's family, who had been engaged in a civil rights lawsuit against the city over Taylor's death. To date, however, none of the police officers responsible for Taylor's killing have been charged or arrested for their involvement.