HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html FBI Joins Probe Into Fatal Shooting Of Teen By Police
Pubdate: Wed, 07 Jan 2004
Source: Messenger-Inquirer (KY)
Copyright: 2004 Messenger-Inquirer
Author: Dylan T. Lovan, Associated Press
Bookmark: (Racial Issues)


LOUISVILLE -- Federal officials are investigating the fatal shooting
of a black teenager shot in the back last week by a Louisville police
officer, an FBI spokesman said Tuesday.

"We are going to conduct what we call a substantial investigation, and
that means we will conduct a complete, independent, thorough and
impartial investigation of the matter," David Beyer, an FBI spokesman
in Louisville, said in a phone interview. Beyer said the investigation
was initiated early this week.

Officer McKenzie G. Mattingly, an undercover Metro police officer,
shot Michael Newby in the back Saturday night in western Louisville
after they struggled for Mattingly's service handgun, Police Chief
Robert White said. Mattingly was trying to buy drugs from Newby about
11:45 p.m. EST Saturday outside a strip mall when the deal went wrong,
White said.

Louisville police have sent a preliminary report on the fatal shooting
to prosecutors, White said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mattingly has declined to talk to police investigators by
invoking the Fifth Amendment, White said.

Beyer said he couldn't predict how long the FBI's investigation would
take. Once it is finished, a copy is provided to the U.S. attorney's
office in Louisville, and it also is reviewed by the Civil Rights
Division of the Justice Department in Washington.

The FBI's report would have no bearing on local prosecutor's case,
Beyer said.

"We're looking at the facts of the case to determine whether the man's
civil rights were violated," Beyer said.

White said a full investigation by police should be finished in four
to five weeks.

Local prosecutors said the preliminary report by police is brief and
doesn't include statements from witnesses, autopsy reports and other
details. Those elements will be contained in the full report, which
will be reviewed by prosecutors when it is completed, said Jeff
Derouen, a spokesman for the commonwealth's attorney's office.

Derouen said the office will determine whether the case should be
reviewed by a Jefferson County grand jury.

The fatal shooting has roused civil rights leaders, who are angered
over the second killing of a black man by a white police officer in
just over a year.

White said Newby, 19, was carrying a .45-caliber handgun, and a
powdered substance, either cocaine or crack cocaine, was found on him
after the shooting. Newby died early Sunday at University of
Louisville Hospital.

White, who became chief a year ago, tried Tuesday to calm an angered
black community upset over Newby's death.

"I certainly understand the issues, the concerns and the questions
that the community has," White said. "... I would ask (the community)
to just be patient long enough to see what the facts will bring."

The call for patience incensed some civil rights leaders who have
protested the Louisville police in the past. Newby was the seventh
black man to be shot and killed by Louisville police in the past five

"We have too many of our young black men dying unnecessarily by a
police department that is corrupt to the core," said the Rev. James
Tennyson, a local pastor and activist.

The Justice Resource Center, headed by the Rev. Louis Coleman, met
with Newby's family on Monday and recommended that the family sue the
city. It was not known Tuesday whether the family would heed Coleman's
advice. "It's up to them. We've encouraged them to fight this as hard
as they can," Coleman said. The Justice Resource Center, along with
local churches and other activist groups, has scheduled a protest at
police headquarters for Thursday.

Helen Swain, Newby's aunt, who has been speaking for the family, said
by phone Tuesday that she "doesn't want to talk anymore." Swain said
she's frustrated with the case, though she didn't go into details. She
said no one else in the family would speak with a reporter.

A retired Louisville police officer who joined in protesting the
department with other activists Tuesday said Mattingly shouldn't be
allowed to keep quiet while officials investigate the case.

"This police officer has no right not to cooperate in this
investigation," said Shelby Lanier, a former Louisville police detective.

White said Mattingly is "entitled to exercise his right, which he did
under the advice of his attorney, to plead the Fifth" Amendment, which
protects citizens against self-incrimination.

"At some point I'm confident the officer is going to give his account
of what occurred" White said Tuesday.

Mattingly was placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting
is investigated.

Aside from the police investigation, the mayor's Police Accountability
Commission also will investigate the shooting.

Mayor Jerry Abramson appointed the commission last year, after the
December 2002 fatal shooting of a black, handcuffed man by a white
police officer. The shooting sparked days of protests by civil-rights

Both officers were cleared by police investigators of wrongdoing in
the shooting, and a grand jury declined to indict them.
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