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Former Atlanta chief Erika Shields will now lead Louisville police department

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Posted at 8:53 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 10:57:14-05

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville Metro Police Department has a new chief to lead its officers.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday that former Atlanta police chief Erika Shields will lead the Louisville agency, making her the first woman to do so on a permanent basis.

"When tragedy happened in her city, she put her city before herself [by] stepping down so she would not be a distraction as her community worked to heal," said Mayor Fischer.

Shields resigned from her Atlanta job in June after a video went viral of an officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, a Black man, in a Wendy's parking lot.

"As someone who has dedicated years of their soul to policing, I understand that there is much healing to do, across the country, and here in Louisville," said Shields. "But what I also see is an incredible opportunity. Louisville and LMPD have an opportunity to get this right, and to create a model for other cities to follow."

"She was the unanimous choice of our diverse selection committee," said Mayor Fischer.

The hiring of Shields comes after longtime police Chief Steve Conrad was fired back in June. He was fired after officials learned there were no body cameras used by officers following the deadly shooting of David McAtee. McAtee was a popular barbecue chef who was shot and killed amid protests over Breonna Taylor's death.

LMPD has been led by two interim chiefs since then. Interim Chief Robert Schroeder retired in October and Yvette Gentry currently leads the police department.

Shields will be sworn in on Jan. 19.

This story was originally published by Jordan Mickle at WLEX.