A former Louisville police officer blamed for starting a conflict that led to the fatal shooting of a Black barbecue restaurant owner during protests over Breonna Taylor's death has pleaded guilty to using excessive force. Katie Crews, 29, pleaded guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor. She was indicted in March on a felony excessive force charge. Crews, who is white, was fired this year for escalating a conflict the night of restaurant owner David McAtee's death and for a separate incident where she taunted protesters on social media, the Associated Press reports, McAtee's death furthered the anger of protesters who had began massing in Louisville's streets in 2020 over the death of Taylor, a Black EMT killed by police who knocked down her door while executing a drug search warrant.
Under the plea agreement, Crews, of Jeffersonville, In., can no longer work in law enforcement. She will be sentenced in January. Steve Romines, a lawyer for McAtee's family, said they are "glad that there has been an acknowledgment of the gross misconduct of (Louisville police) the night of David's death." Crews wasn't "a lone wolf who decided to go rogue," Romines said arguing that authorities were sent to Louisville's west end by commanding officers to "violate policies and harass people." A civil lawsuit by McAtee's family blames Crews and other law officers for using aggressive tactics on bystanders who were on private property the night of McAtee's death. Crews was part of a group of Louisville officers and National Guard members sent to an area near his eatery, YaYa's BBQ, to break up a crowd.