Dirty Cops, Rape, and Murder

A Look Inside Louisville Metro Police Department

Olivia Meadows
6 min readJun 4, 2020
image courtesy of Little Rock Soiree

Louisville Metro Police have a long-standing history of violating the civil rights of African Americans, rights which include a 2018 lawsuit filed by rape victim Salisa Luster Harrison.

In 2008 Ms. Harrison was brutally raped, assaulted, and strangled inside her Louisville, KY home.

Harrison states her constitutional rights were violated when Louisville Metro Police mishandled evidence, including failure to test a rape kit delaying a charge from being filed against her attacker.

Ms. Harrison reports LMPD violated the Equal Protection Clause by failing to act within reason, treating her indifferent because of her race.

In her testimony the police officer who arrived at her home
“essentially left her for dead.”

When Harrison didn’t show up for work her coworkers became concerned and called the LMPD demanding a Check Welfare Request.

In response, Officer Woolridge was dispersed to the home.

On arrival to the scene, the officer proceeds to investigate, returning five minutes later confirming everything was okay.

Meanwhile, the victim, wearing blood stained clothes, lay on her couch powerless to speak or move and unable to call the police.

The officer assured the coworkers that Harrison had been in a dispute with her boyfriend and was embarrassed by the event.

The concerned coworkers attempted to enter Harrison’s home to confirm the officer’s statement but was allegedly prevented.

In defiance of his oath, Officer Woolridge left the crime scene and returned to the police station, where he closed the check welfare request for Harrison.

After Officer Woolridge left the crime scene, Salisa’s co-workers were not satisfied and gained access inside Harrison’s home through the building manager.

Once inside, they observed Harrison lying motionless on the couch and unable to speak.

It is believed her perpetrator was also inside the apartment and fled the scene. The person inside was confirmed not to be the victim’s boyfriend.

Paramedics arrived shortly and determined Harrison had been physically and sexually assaulted.

Upon arrival to the hospital the victim suffered a seizure and required surgery. It is unclear what type of surgery the victim underwent.

In September 2018, the LMPD filed a motion to dismiss Harrison’s case, but on June 12, 2020 a U.S. District Judge rejected the police department’s request and the case moved forward.

The Kentucky Magistrate Judge Lanny King entered an order requiring all parties to submit discovery materials (evidence that would likely be presented in the trial) by February 15, 2021.

So, as you can see it may be YEARS before a trial gets underway for Salisa Luster Harrison.

The good-ole boys of Kentucky have a unique way of handling justice which appear to breach constitutional rights of African Americans.

In 2004 Michael Newby, an African American teenager, was killed in the Bluegrass state by LMPD.

The officer involved, Mckenzie Mattingly, violated the department use of force against Michael Newby by insinuating a threat when no apparent threat was present.

Then LMPD Police Chief Robert C. White, in a report to NBC News stated,

“Specifically, Michael Newby was not an immediate threat to the officer’s life or his physical well-being. Nor was any other person in the area clearly in immediate danger because of Newby.”

Officer Mattingly told investigators he believed Newby was carrying a concealed weapon.

The two struggled over the officer’s handgun, when a shot was discharged causing Newby to run from the officer. Officer Mattingly shot the victim three times in the back as he attempted to flee the scene.

The officer later went home to his family. Michael Newby went to the morgue.

Newby was the seventh African American who had been killed by LMPD in a five-year span.


January 2004: Michael Newby was killed by Louisville Metro Police.

January 3, 2004: Officer Mattingly was placed on administrative PAID leave.

March 5, 2004: Mattingly was indicted by a grand jury on charges of murder and wanton endangerment.

October 2004: Mckenzie Mattingly was acquitted of murder, first and second- degree manslaughter and reckless homicide.

Notice the swift action in favor of the LMPD resulting in an eight month expediated trial and acquittal.

Meanwhile, Salisa Harrison’s attacker has not been arrested and the discovery document hearing has been pushed out to February 2021.

There is no telling how long it will be before Harrison’s trial will get underway.

Sad, but true the civil rights of African American’s are repeatedly violated by officers whose sworn duty to protect and serve have proved to be an unfulfilled oath.

Let us recap the mismanagement occurring in the Louisville Police Department.

Allegations against Louisville Chief of Police Steve Conrad include the mishandling of the murder of Breonna Taylor, as well as the mismanagement of 6.2 million dollars for the Anti-Violence Funding, not to mention the crimes against minors by officers working in the LMPD sponsored Youth Explorer program.

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman announced seven federal charges against former LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts. The charges include misconduct with minors, distributing and possessing child pornography, enticing minors into sexual acts, and sending obscene material to a minor.

According to the indictment, LMPD Officer Betts enticed at least three juveniles, two boys and a girl, into sexual acts.

A second LMPD officer, Brandon Wood, has been charged with crimes as well.

In wake of the corruption, including the mishandling of the Breonna Taylor’s case, Chief of Police Steve Conrad announced his retirement effective June 30, 2020, but was fired prior to retirement for officers not wearing required body cams.

Interim, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has since come under fire for his lack of Governance.

Recently dozens of police officers in an unplanned protest walked out as Mayor Greg Fischer held a meeting.

The officers cited “feeling completely insulted by the Mayor’s lack of leadership.”

The last couple of years in America has been a series of dysfunction, from the federal to the state level.

While the infringement of equality for African Americans has been ongoing, it seems the Constitution for centuries has failed to protect African Americans. The red, white, and blue U.S. Flag appears very inconsistent.

In contrast, the flag’s stripes represent hardiness, valor, purity, and innocence, as well as perseverance and justice. But for who? African Americans have not seen any resemblance of the flag’s representation.