From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[PCUSANEWS] PC(USA) calls for justice
PCUSA NEWS <PCUSA.NEWS@ecunet.org>
17 Dec 2002 16:21:29 -0500
Note #7547 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:
PC(USA) calls for justice
PC(USA) calls for justice
Officials say they are 'appalled' by police killing of handcuffed man
by John Filiatreau
LOUISVILLE - Two top officials of the Presbyterian Church (USA) sent a letter
yesterday to Louisville Mayor David Armstrong, expressing "profound dismay
over the killing of James E. Taylor" by Louisville police on Dec. 5.
The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly, and John
Detterick, executive director of the General Assembly Council, urged the
mayor to "do everything possible to see that a complete and thorough
investigation of the facts of this case is undertaken."
The PC(USA) officials, writing on behalf of "our corporate community at 100
Witherspoon Street," said they are "appalled that it should have been
necessary for a police detective to fire multiple shots at Mr. Taylor while
Mr. Taylor's hands were handcuffed behind his back."
Detective Mike O'Neil reportedly fired 12 shots at Taylor, 50, in an
apartment on East St. Catherine Street in Louisville, hitting him 11 times.
Police have said that Taylor was armed with a "razor knife" like a box cutter
and was making "slicing motions" at the officers, although his hands were
cuffed behind his back. A police spokesman has said that another city
detective at the scene, Brian Luckett, was not able to subdue or disarm
Taylor. Neither officer was hurt.
Taylor is the fifth African-American man shot and killed by Louisville police
in the past three years. He was charged posthumously with two counts of
The Louisville office of the FBI has launched a civil-rights investigation.
Dr. Richard Greathouse, the county coroner, said Taylor had alcohol and
cocaine in his bloodstream when he was killed, but termed the police response
"very troubling, to say the least."
Protesters have demanded that the detectives be fired and called for the
resignation of of Police Chief Greg Smith.
Here is the Kirkpatrick/Detterick letter in its entirety:
December 16, 2002
Hon. David Armstrong
Mayor, City of Louisville
601 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Dear Mayor Armstrong:
As representatives of the Office of the General Assembly and of the General
Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and as representatives of
our corporate community at 100 Witherspoon Street, we wish to join our voices
with all who have expressed profound dismay over the killing of Mr. James E.
Taylor by Louisville police while he was handcuffed.
While we do not know the details, we have read the reactions of the Jefferson
County Coroner, Dr. Richard Greathouse, and of the Commonwealth's Attorney,
Dave Stengel. We are appalled that it should have been necessary for a police
detective to fire multiple shots at Mr. Taylor while Mr. Taylor's hands were
handcuffed behind his back.
Our General Assemblies have called upon our members and upon all citizens to
find ways to work together with law enforcement officials to insure humane
practices in the enforcement of the law, a part of which is to protect
citizens against unreasonable use of lethal force. We call upon you to insure
that in the remaining days of your tenure as Mayor you will do everything
possible to see that a complete and thorough investigation of the facts of
this case is undertaken, and that in the event there is evidence of excessive
use of lethal force by those involved, appropriate judicial action will be
We recognize that the final resolution of this case will doubtless take place
on Mayor Abramson's "watch," but we trust that you will put in place the
necessary mechanisms to insure that this process is not halted or unduly
delayed under the new administration.
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Executive Director, General Assembly Council
cc: Hon. Jerry Abramson (mayor-elect)
*** For instructions on using this system (including how to UNJOIN this
meeting), send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send your response to this article to email@example.com
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send an 'unsubscribe' request to
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .