The four law enforcement officials who fatally shot David McAtee outside his barbecue stand last June amid city-wide protests against the police killing of Breonna Taylor will not face criminal charges, city authorities said. In a Tuesday statement, Jefferson Commonwealth Attorney Thomas B. Wine said he will not prosecute the Louisville Metro Police officers or Kentucky National Guard members involved in the 53-year-old’s death because they were acting in self-defense after McAtee fired the first shot on June 1 outside of YaYa’s BBQ. Wine wrote that the officers went to the scene to break up a crowd and enforce the 9 a.m. curfew that had been established two days prior amid the ongoing police brutality protests.
After several people took shelter inside the BBQ joint, McAtee “pointed a gun out that door and fired one shot. He then stepped back inside before reemerging to fire a second shot,” Win said, noting the incident was captured surveillance video. The shots prompted the four officers to take cover and switch from the non-lethal pepper balls they were initially throwing at the crowd to their service weapons. In all, the officers fired 19 shots at McAtee, striking him once in the chest. Five minutes later, paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, Wine said. “We never anticipated that the commonwealth’s attorney’s office would hold any LMPD officers responsible. History has shown that doesn't happen,” Steve Romines, an attorney for the McAtee family, told the Louisville Courier-Journal.