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Gov. Beshear meets with mother of Breonna Taylor, orders KSP investigation of David McAtee’s death

Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on demonstrations in Louisville and the investigations into deaths of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee.

“As we move forward, we will be reducing our National Guard presence in Louisville,” the Governor said. “That is a recommendation by our adjutant general that we will be following.”

Gov. Beshear talked about the search for justice for Breonna Taylor, a Louisville woman whose death touched off the protests there.

“Yesterday, I met with Breonna Taylor’s mother before she came up here. I sat and I listened. What I heard was a mother in pain. She wants justice and the truth. She deserves both,” the Governor said. “Breonna’s death along with others across the country have led to thousands of people giving voice and a demand for truly equal treatment under the law and an end to injustices that permeate almost every part of our society.”

Breonna Taylor

Gov. Beshear also spoke of the death of David McAtee. He noted that he authorized the Kentucky State Police’s Critical Incident Response Team to quickly investigate McAtee’s death.

J. Michael Brown, secretary for the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, spoke about the state of the investigation.

“I can tell you very preliminarily the first results of an autopsy seem to indicate that Mr. McAtee succumbed to a single – we believe – a single gunshot wound to the chest, but tests on bullet fragments will have to be conducted at the Kentucky State Police crime lab to see if we can determine what exactly type of bullet he was struck by,” Brown said. “At this time we do not know that. We do believe it was a single bullet.”

“It is our belief at this time that approximately 18 shots were fired between the Kentucky National Guard and the Louisville Metro Police that evening. Those weapons are also in our custody for further testing, and they will be tested for DNA and any other things we can get from them,” he added.

Brown said that the goal is to get all the facts, get them quickly and be able to present, as much as possible, a clear determination of what happened shortly after midnight on June 1.

The Governor said: “Our commitment is the truth, no matter what that truth is – good, bad, ugly – our commitment is the truth. That’s what the people of Kentucky deserve. That’s what the families involved in this deserve. And that’s what we’re going to ensure happens.”

Gov. Beshear pledged to continue to listen and to take action.

“I hope later this week we are going to announce some of our initial plans about trying to get with leaders in the African-American community and the actual providers – hospital systems, Medicaid, insurers, all in the same room together. Not to have a task force or a study but to see how we can actually get this done. How we can actually make change in the health of individuals,” the Governor said. “Just like in many ways it shouldn’t have had to take some terrible incidents around our country to wake people up or to get them to listen to the type of injustices that are occurring in our society, it shouldn’t take a one-in-every-100-year pandemic for us to see the same in health care.”

From Governor’s Office

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