Here is a podcast of the interview with mayoral candidate, Craig Greenberg, following the alleged attempted shooting by Black activist and journalist Quintez Brown. This will be updated as time allows.
“I’m more fortunate than most people who are shot at.”
“We have got to stop the gun violence.”
“I am a person who can bring this city together.”
Mental health was another topic.
Meiners: “Do you know him?”
“I do not know Mr. Brown.”
Meiners: “You have not met him at rallies?
Greenberg: “I don’t believe so.”
Meiners: “He met with a group last week called the Land of Judah armed forces. A spokesperson for them said, “We are terribly heartbroken over what appears to have been a humongous lapse of judgement. The lam of Judah In no way advocates anything of this nature.”
This is a group that has shown some very strong tendencies, much like the Black Hebrew Israelite movement.
I have to ask about your religion. Did you worry this was an antisemitic …?”
(9:16) Meiners: “Last week, there were multiple Democratic members of the Metro Council who endorsed you. The alleged shooter has been connected to other candidates and he himself is running for office. [Metro Council].
The alleged shooter tweeted, he took a story from WLKY about those other democrats endorsing you before primary and then he wrote at the top, “Dollar Democracy?” So he’s showing political anger at that. I mean, it’s pretty blatant that’s what this is about.
Do you think it’s appropriate for other Democrats to endorse you prior to a primary? And in this case, obviously, it may have led to this outrageous act.”
“I know there are other people whose experiences in their life have been unfair.”
“Let’s lower the temperature.”
(11:55) Meiners: “Alleged shooter Quintez Brown writing though dollar democracy with that story. The inference is that you made a deal with these Democrats on the Metro Council?
Greenberg: “That’s totally false.”
Meiners: The bail was set at $100,000.
The bail was paid by some New York hip hop guy.
Is 100,000 the correct amount? Is that enough for someone who has already shown he has no respect for life, and he’ll blast 5 bullets at you or anyone else.”
Greenberg: With respect to the bail, that’s a good question. I haven’t had time to process that.
I don’t know what led this individual who shot at me.
I am empathetic to whatever led him to that point. I want to be part of that solution.
At the same time, actions have consequences. It’s not acceptable to open fire at other individuals.”
I’m driving down to Frankfort to advocate for that as well.
Meiners: “on the streets.” “Sociopathic behavior.” Blah blah.
Greenberg: “Those who commit violent crimes, there need to be consequences.”
LMPD needs the resources to solve unsolved murders.
We know everyone’s busy and there’s a lot going on right now. Much more than usual! So, we wanted to make it easy for anyone who wasn’t able to keep up in real time to find the video of the testimonies given in the trial of one of the LMPD officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. To date no one has been held accountable. As facts from this trial are revealed, we need everyone to keep #AllEyesOnKentucky.
As I sat and listened to a replay of Tuesdays’ House Education Committee Hearing where HB 63 was FINALLY heard after three false starts, and white lawmakers shared testimonies of their favorable experiences with SROs, I couldn’t help but notice one thing. Not one of them put themselves in the shoes of Black people when considering how “safe” they felt, and “how well it works” to have armed police in their schools. In fact, the committee chair (Huff) and the bill sponsor (Bratcher) did a bang-up job making sure the Black voices who came to speak against the bill were the very last ones to be heard, if at all.
Not only was HB63 at the top of last week’s agenda, only to be scratched last second after many of us had driven from Jefferson County to speak against it, myself included. Two previous times the bill had been on the agenda, the entire meeting was canceled. So when it made the top of the agenda this week, I thought, “fourth times a charm,” and we made arrangements for a member of our group to drive to Frankfort for the 8:30 AM meeting, once again.
Due to various people of privilege’s schedules, despite HB63 being at the top of the agenda, the meeting kicked off with a “performance” by a very impressive young white student who remarked that he was asked to speak because February was National Trades Month (or something like that). He spent a great deal of time quoting Kentucky educator Carl Perkins and expressing the importance of diversity and equity in the types of programs students should have access to. Not that I disagree with any of that, I hardly think that’s what is meant when people refer to diversity and equity. I doubt the young man saw the irony in the words that he spoke, but I suspect the adults who recruited him and helped him practice knew exactly what they were doing.
Two more times throughout the meeting this handsome young high-achiever received compliments and accolades from white lawmakers who had very little problems allocating precious speaking time to this concern, while Black speakers from Jefferson County continued to wait to be called upon.
Then came two other bills that were heard prior to introducing HB63’s bill sponsor. The first was one on tornado disaster relief for Western Kentucky, which of course should be enacted. The second one was on “Erin’s Law,” which would potentially implement curriculum that would reduce child abuse, an area where Kentucky currently ranks highest. Both very important bills that were dedicated speaking time, including justification for not having to make up days because everyone has been dealing with trauma and needs time to get some normalcy back in their lives. While I don’t disagree, I just can’t help but wonder where the compassion is for our students who suffer from gun violence, racial discrimination, high poverty and over policing?
And after listening to bill sponsor Rep Bratcher wax on endlessly about how he was bused to Shawnee his 11th and 12th grades, and he never felt unsafe having SROs there, to reminiscing with Rep Charles Miller, who used to be his principal at PRP, about what he and his teammates did under the bleachers that led to him getting paddled by him. Those were the “good old days,” weren’t they, boys?
Our representative left Jefferson County before 7 am so that he could arrive in room 145 of the Annex building in time to sign up to speak. Once everyone with a microphone had exhausted their treasure trove of personal white experiences with SROs, there were a few minutes left to hear from the Black people. One man spoke as a parent of a Black JCPS student and Sadiqa Reynolds of Louisville Urban League did an outstanding job as well, even going so far as to ask, “how dare you?”
The vote was called. Every single yes vote, including some Democrats who should know better, was white. The bill passed out of committee. It now heads to the House floor and on to the Senate.
Our friend asked why he was not called on to speak and he was told that “they ran out of time.” Please listen to this week’s episode of Save Our Schools with Dear JCPS for a recap of the House Education Committee Hearing on HB63, and ESPECIALLY to the speakers at the very end.
Again, I ask, when will the lives and experiences of Black and Brown students matter?
What they’re saying: “At this time, we do not recommend or endorse a test-to-stay program,” the CDC told the Times. “However, we are working with multiple jurisdictions who have chosen to use these approaches to gather more information.”
LOUISVILLE, KY – There were over 30 individuals signed up as guest speakers at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, but only about six were able to be heard before the chaos erupted after a white women, who had come at the invitation of Beanie Geohegan, a known right-wing radical, changed her seat in order to more easily confront and ultimately threaten a Black mother. One of the speakers with their group, Dr. Frank Simon, spoke about his concerns for Black students, yet ironically, they not only refused to listen to what the Black parents and students had to say, they instead threatened and attempted to silence them. Further frustrations were expressed when one of the officers, who was Black, took the side of and protected the white woman who had instigated and escalated the situation, instead of the parents and children who were being berated by a racist.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the local news coverage:
A top story out in today’s Courier-Journal reveals a sordid history of abuse, misconduct and denial, inside and outside of the classroom for William Bennett, the Science teacher at Moore High School who was recently involved in an altercation with a student after telling him he was just going to be “another Black boy shot.” The trail of dirty laundry and terminations runs from Etown, to Hardin, to Bullitt County, before Bennett finally landed a teaching job in a high minority population district. It turns out Bennett was fired from his hometown school system, Elizabethtown Independent Schools, in 2001 after he was arrested for breaking into an apartment “to see if his then-girlfriend was cheating on him,” according to the article by Olivia Krauth.
This incident, while one of the most egregious in recent memory, is not all that unique. In fact, I was just about to release my latest blog post entitled, “Our Schools are Not Safe for Black and Brown Kids,” when I became aware of this latest update on William Bennett and decided to lead with it and some intel of our own. Please check out my latest blog, which also details two other incidents of violence toward Black JCPS students since the start of the school year. The post will be updated.
Moments before Nagdy was shot twice — once in the head and once in the abdomen — and left for dead in the middle of a busy Louisville street, an LMPD officer shot and killed another innocent-until-proven-guilty Louisville resident whose offense appears to be nothing more than driving with his headlights off on the “wrong side of town.” I am quite certain if this officer was working the beat in another part of town, like mine, the officer’s first response after pulling a car over to alert them their headlights were off, would not be with gun drawn in a “kill-shot” position. But in looking at the officer’s body cam footage, the only video released so far, that’s how it looks.
Anyway, I will share a link to the video in a moment. I need to provide you with more context, first. The video KSP released contains an explainer that runs almost as long as the less than three minutes of footage they shared with us so far. It provides some assumptions that the public is expected to take their word for, I guess. I have some questions about the video, and so far, no one has been able to answer them.
So, let’s set the stage:
At 12:30 am, Travis Nagdy was gunned down, shortly after making what would become Travis’ final post on his Facebook page (please read this editorial from the amazing Hannah Drake). You see, Travis had been a vocal critic of LMPD, once calling them an organized gang during a metro council meeting.
He was intent on catching them in the act. And they knew it.
He started listening in on their police scanners. It’s clear he heard the radio call about the police shooting of Brian Thurman, and that’s what prompted the cryptic post. “All hands on deck 22nd & Gilligan”.
But Travis never made it to the scene with his bullhorn. Can you imagine how different things might be if he had? In the city that lost Breonna Taylor to dirty LMPD cops earlier this year? (More on that later.)
Some reports say that Travis told friends he thought he was being followed.
Is it possible that officer Harry Seeder (don’t watch the video yet) shot an innocent man, not the driver of a vehicle that was “reported stolen?” Is it possible that manipulative, corrupt, dirty cops came up with the idea to tell the media and their chief that the car was reported stolen to cover up the fact that one of their partners just shot and killed an innocent man who was merely dropping off a friend in her driveway and didn’t realize his headlights were off?
Can you imagine if a charismatic and outspoken leader had shown up with his bullhorn in hand, and followers arrived at the scene as commanded, just a couple dozen blocks away from the square where protests have continued non-stop for 200 days now, how different might things have turned out? When you look at the map, you can see Travis was on his way to that location just South of the gas stations at the 22nd Street exit in Louisville’s Portland neighborhood. A location that, had things been allowed to play out, might have sparked the largest protest in the history of protests. At least here in Louisville. Can you imagine if people found out that night, while cops were trying to clean up that mess, that the person who had been killed at the hands of police that night was an innocent man and that the cops were covering it up? With that much attention and people watching, would they have even been able to?
Hang onto that possibility while I continue setting up the story.
Perhaps Mr. Thurman lost his life due to fear. Perhaps the cop was afraid. Perhaps he was not properly trained to secure the location and de-escalate the situation, and his failure to do so that night on any one of a half a dozen things, could have prevented an innocent man from being shot at least five times. Perhaps he didn’t follow proper protocol. Or perhaps he DID and protocol is what needs to change. We don’t know because they still have not released any additional footage, such as the dash cam, or the radio calls. Or if they are public, people like you and me don’t know how to find them.
Perhaps the officer, in hindsight, knows this man’s death could and should have been avoided, but doesn’t know where to turn because the brotherhood is strong!
The misleading information presented and possible cover-up that follows the night Thurman was killed by LMPD is the part that I need you to see.
Here’s is another video I recorded with my iphone the night the video was released. I wanted something that started when the actual body cam starts, and not the misleading brotherhood-spun intro. Because bias influences your ability to see the truth. And everyone paying enough attention to form an opinion was hearing misleading information from two “reliable” sources. First, they told us that the car had been reported stolen and second, they told us that the officer was doing his job because the car backed into him. So of course, people are going to say, “the shooting was justified. Of course, it was self defense. The guy was driving a stolen car, for god’s sakes. He had it coming!” You know the drill.
The video begins with bodycam footage but no sound. When the sound finally cuts in, you hear the officer Seeder say, “I’m going to have Kentucky 1-3-2-Zulu-Victor-Bravo.”
If you watch my video, or know what to look for in the video from Police Overwatch, you can see it. Plain as day. In my video, I explain that the video is silent for the first bit. I point out that the car the officer is following appears to have forgotten to turn on their headlights. You can hear my voice a couple of times pointing out the license plate number he calls out over the radio.
“We’re turning onto 22nd and Gilligan right now.”
Throwing the police car door open and immediately pointing the gun at the driver, the officer yells, “HANDS! HANDS! HANDS! HANDS! Let me see your hands.”
He spits on the ground, indicating at a minimum uneasiness, but possibly nervousness, fear or anger. I can’t help but wonder if this is how I would be treated if I forgot to turn on my headlights? Would results vary depending on how close I was to downtown vs. my East End neighborhood? Is there more to this story as to why the driver of a yet to be identified vehicle was approached as a threat instead of someone he was supposed to protect and serve?
The officer yells to the driver, whose car door is still closed, to “Turn off the vehicle now!” Just as the car door opens and the driver complies and shows his hands, the officer simultaneously hears his name called over the radio and answers her call, “2 Adam.”
“Is it a white Mercedes?”
“Negative, this is going to be a Honda CRV.” He spits again.
The driver is still seen showing his hands, but the delay is uncomfortable for everyone, including those watching the video. It’s clear no one knows why this man has been pulled over, including the officer, at this point.
The operator calls back to him the numbers he gave her prior to pulling the car over, “1-3-2-Zulu-Victor-Bravo?”
Wait, it’s not the right number? What car has this officer pulled over? Who is the driver?
As of the moment the officer shoots Brian Thurman, he was still waiting for the dispatcher to run the corrected tags. At no time during the 3-minute video is his car “reported stolen.”
Someone apparently decided it was okay to tell the media and their boss that the car was reported stolen, so she could tell the entire world a version of the story that would take the heat off — of the heat — who was packing heat. You get it.
OK, here’s where I am going to take you on a detour. Once you spot this you’ll know what I’m talking about. But in the psychology of cult leaders, this is not that uncommon. In fact, Scientologists have a name for it. It’s called “Shore Flap.” It’s the practice of allowing a team of people to control the narrative. It may not be the police themselves. It may be their union leadership. How do I know? Because I see the same dynamics in JCPS and the influence a handful of teachers’ union leaders can have over what the public thinks about its own public school district. Again, another detour. We will get to that story later.
Back to the very unfortunate and very unnecessary death of Brian Thurman.
While the uncomfortable delay continues, and while awaiting additional information about the vehicle in question, it looks like Thurman is trying to get out of the vehicle with his hands in view. The officer barks at the man to “Stay in the car. Don’t move,” which he does. Perhaps also panicking, he also closes the door, isolating himself and the passenger from what’s going on outside.
Dispatch asks his location. “2100 Block of Gilligan.”
“He pulled off on me. I got him stopped.”
“Stay in the car! Do not get out of the car.”
“Stop! Stop! Stop!”
At first you think the officer is barking at the driver again, but after you watch the video a few times you realize that the officer appears to have spotted a passenger, female, getting out on the far side of the vehicle. We also learn she had been instructed by the driver to do so. Probably because they were scared to death and didn’t know what else to do. No one had told them anything, and as far as we know, they had reached their destination and he was dropping her off in that driveway, unaware he was driving a car that had been reported stolen. Remember, that pesky “innocent until proven guilty” thing? That means giving them every benefit of the doubt until there can be a trial. If this had gone to trial. But of course, it can’t. Or can it?
As the lady walks toward the officer, who has been standing in the driver’s blind spot this entire time, gun still drawn, (still nervously awaiting information about who owns that car!), the car begins to back up into the path of the officer. Or should I say the officer begins to cross behind the car to yell to the woman to stay inside. She comes into view and we hear her talking back to the officer just as the car begins to move in reverse.
“Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!” I counted four more times.
Not being able to control the passenger, the driver, the car or his own body, and not being able to decide which of many correct tactical decisions to make first, he appears to panic and make none. Instead he waits until the car is upon him, knocking his body camera go the ground, and the only decision left is to shoot the driver of the car (which if you have watched enough Mission Impossible movies, you know killing the driver isn’t the smartest way to stop a moving car).
You hear him say “fuck.”
You hear five gunshots.
He calls it in. You hear him breathing heavily. Sirens start immediately.
Assistance arrives quickly. He directs them to the victim. He defends his actions by responding to his brother, “He ran over me with the car.”
The video stops.
Two hours later, Travis Nagdy, who put out the “all call” for his own force to oversee the crime scene, is dead, and Yvette Gentry is holding a press conference to inform everyone what happened during the shore flap. Someone either lied to her and she shared it, or she knew it was a lie when she said it. Does she know it’s a lie now?
Notice which story she leads with. The officer is hit by the car and the officer fires. She calls it a traffic stop.
Notice anything else?
She uses inflammatory and biasing words like “the officer is run over by the car.” Someone probably fed that to her with intention, as well. Repeating what is fed to you make a reporter’s job easier.
Right. Anything else?
She says the officer said he noticed the car driving without tail lights. She then went on to repeat the lie that apparently came from the officer’s mouth.
“And when he ran the info on the car, he realized the vehicle was stolen.” ~ Natalia Martinez, WAVE3 News
When? In the two in a half minutes from when he noticed the lights were out, to the moment Brian Thurman lay dead or dying in his vehicle, does the officer “realize the vehicle was reported stolen?”
Does Yvette Gentry know about this? Does Natalia Martinez know about this? Does the lady on the radio who was running the tags for a white Mercedes know about this? I don’t know how to find out without giving the corrupt brotherhood and the dirty cops more opportunities to spin their web. One thing I do know? The cop who pulled the trigger knows. And he knows who fed it to the media. Someone had better come forward with the truth before it gets out to the public. Fix this shit.
Meanwhile, we continue to allow ancestors and protectors of colonizers and white supremacists, who maintain control over their own records, to pick and choose which files to release, which evidence to make public, and which version of the story to tell. I would bet you a million dollars they are working behind the scenes right now to manufacture a plausible story so that by the time someone figures this out and starts to demand #JusticeForBrian, it will have been covered up, or explained away, or forgotten. Or will it?
Watch the evidence. Tell your friends. Help this story go viral.
Demand the police demonstrate when and how the car Brian Thurman was driving the night he was shot by killed by LMPD officer Harry Seeder was reported stolen. I’d do an open records request, but then they would know who was asking and I would become their next target (I probably already just did). Force them to own up to their mistakes, their shortcomings, their biases. Make them show us what’s in their hands and in their pockets without tampering with evidence, without delaying the release of records, come forward.
This message was sent via email to Board Member James Craig on Dec. 1, 2020, ahead of the Work Session on the Student Assignment Plan proposal discussion.
Good evening, James,
I wanted to reach out as your constituent, first to congratulate you on the tremendous strides toward equity and racial justice that the district is making under the collective leadership of you, Dr. Pollio and the rest of the board. I also wanted to express my support for the proposed changes to the student assignment plan, as well as some additional requests for consideration.
From the reconfiguring of the map and the addition of a close-to-home “no-application required” school choice for West Louisville students, to putting an end to push outs from our traditional schools and to resetting diversity targets, these changes are to be heralded and will no doubt improve situations and outcomes for many of our district’s most underserved students. We must continue to pursue them as urgently as possible.
My overarching concern with the proposal is that these changes still don’t go far enough, still lack “the notches in a new belt,” if you will, and as a result, still have potential to backslide and/or cause unintended harm. I know neither of us want that, which is why I wanted to continue bringing feedback and concerns from the community.
First, the district was very responsive to the earlier demands that were brought forward by the Coalition for the People’s Agenda, which is why we were pleased to extend our support for the tax increase (congratulations, again!). These demands still resonate as we move forward with the implementation of the student assignment plan. As a reminder they were “EARN”, or:
Evaluation and presentation of inequities in current plan, in its entirety. We have seen great efforts being made here and I was moved by the public forum that was held. However, this needs to be ongoing, intentional and more community driven. We would like to talk with you in the future about what that looks like going forward.
Anti-racist budget (divest from policing, testing, harmful curriculum; invest in counselors, smaller classes, recruitment/retention).
Resolution in support of the Coalition for the People’s Agenda and the movement for Black Lives. (Board Member Shull has offered to take the lead on this and the Kentucky Alliance Education Committee will consult. I hope you will support or even consider co-sponsoring it with him.)
No wholesale return to in-person schooling until it’s safe (safe from policing, racist teachers, and COVID). Would like to update you on some examples of how the internal investigations process broke down, and suggest a form of intervention/restorative practices with teachers who exhibit harmful behaviors.
As my board member, I would like to ask you to see if you can determine if there is any feasibility to implementing the following “emergency provisions” with the proposed changes expected to be voted on at the next board meeting. You see, these are barriers that have prevented, and continue to prevent, some of the proposed changes from happening organically, and the coalition believes that removing them prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year would allow the district to ease into some of the proposed changes, and also right some of these identified wrongs even sooner :
“Dual resides for everyone!” Not just West Louisville students, but all students could automatically have Shawnee as one of their two choices. Simply providing dual resides for West Louisville students risks further resegregation, but offering that option to families outside of West Louisville might set the stage for “flipping the script” for further voluntary integration in the future. “More carrot, less stick.”
“Ban the box!” Remove the application barrier for families that do not have a resides school that is close to home while we wait for the dual resides plan to be fully implemented across all grade levels (and even now while learning is virtual). This is a barrier that disproportionately impacts black, brown and poor families and now that it has been identified, it should be removed without any additional study necessary. It, in effect, allows the district to baby-step into the dual resides plan, accomplishing the same end result, but during this interim could still leave the decision-making ability up to the school’s principal. It would simply allow impacted students to apply, when in the past, they needed a 2.0 GPA and no behavior or discipline issues. For our West Louisville families, these are hurdles that were likely exacerbated by the discriminatory system in the first place.
“Guaranteed curriculum.” Please research Marzano’s guaranteed viable curriculum to explore if this concept can be incorporated into the above implementation of dual resides, hubs or any other emergency situations as we try to mitigate the remainder of this school year without gaps widening any more than they already are.
I do hope there will be a way for the public to submit 3 minute videos or join the zoom meeting on the evening the board intends to vote on such a historic decision. During this extraordinary time we are living in, in the midst of a pandemic and as ground zero participants in the movement for Black Lives (with Breonna Taylor and many other victims of police brutality and corruption being JCPS graduates), and on this day our mayor declared racism a public health crisis, I am proud to bear witness to one of the nation’s leading urban school districts also leading the way. Let’s continue to be a shining example of how to deconstruct and dismantle structural racism in public education.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Co-founder, Dear JCPS Co-founder, Save Our Schools KY Charter Member, Network for Public Education 2014 Governor’s Commonwealth Institute for Parental Leadership (GCIPL) Fellow Board Member, Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Chair, Coalition for the People’s Agenda Education Committee Decision-Making Council
Imagine a world where ALL children feel safe in their schools and not fearful of becoming the next victim of racial profiling or police brutality. Help us get the message to those who have the power to correct the injustices that our BIPOC students across this nation face every day.
Philadelphia Student Union Representatives write:
We are writing with a request to support our family at the Philadelphia Student Union. As you may have heard, Philadelphia police murdered Walter Wallace Jr, a young Black man in the middle of a mental health crisis, in West Philly, not too far from PSU’s office and the site of the MOVE bombing. Since then, folks have been mobilizing and protesting, including young people. The police, like they always do, have been violent against protestors. PSU youth have drafted a statement and continue to demand police free schools and the end of racist policing in their schools and communities. School policing is a violent system. Street policing is a violent system. PSU has known this first hand.