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Television news reports Mattingly applying with Louisville Metro PD

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Update: LMPD chief says he will 'never' hire Mattingly

By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced on the department's official Facebook page Thursday afternoon that he would "never" consider hiring former Bardstown Police Officer McKenzie Mattingly. His statement read:

"I just had the opportunity to review the findings of the Professional Standards Unit investigation into the shooting of Michael Newby by then-LMPD Officer McKenzie Mattingly on January 3, 2004. On April 15, 2004, (former) Chief Robert White concluded that Mattingly violated two of the department’s Standards Operating Procedures during that incident: SOP 9.1.9 – Use of Deadly Force and SOP 5.1.2 – Obedience to Rules and Regulations. Under the circumstances, I will never consider hiring Mr. Mattingly for any position with the Louisville Metro Police Department.
-Chief Steve Conrad
‪#LMPD #transparency‬"

Editor's Note: The original article below is the version appearing in Friday's edition of The Kentucky Standard. Conrad's statement was made before the newspaper was printed Thursday evening but after it had already gone to press for the print edition.

A Louisville television news station is reporting that former Bardstown interim chief McKenzie Mattingly has applied with Louisville Metro Police.

WDRB reported on its website Tuesday that Mattingly had applied as a “lateral” with LMPD in July, meaning he would not have to go through training at the police academy. The station reported LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell as saying Mattingly’s application will be reviewed just like any other applicant.

Mattingly started his law enforcement career in Bardstown but moved to the Louisville police force in 1998. While he was working as a narcotics detective in Louisville Mattingly shot Michael Newby, 19, three times in the back as the teen was running away during a drug sting. Newby had a pistol in his waistband when Mattingly shot him.

Mattingly was indicted on murder charges but a jury found him not guilty at trial and he was acquitted of all charges. His arrest records and other items from the trial were expunged. The City of Louisville settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Newby family for $250,000, according to news reports.

Mattingly was hired back with the Bardstown Police in August 2010 as a uniformed officer, but in October 2011 was made a narcotics detective, a role he served in until he was promoted to captain by former Bardstown Mayor John Royalty. He served as interim chief from May 2016 until November after former chief Rick McCubbin resigned in protest of the mayor’s reorganization of the department. Mattingly continued as captain and assistant chief until last month, when he resigned.

Reaction from the Newby family and online was swift after WDRB broke the news of Mattingly seeking to rejoin the police force in Louisville.

“My initial reaction was shock that he would have the audacity to come back to this town after he destroyed a family,” said Jerry Bouggess, Newby’s stepfather told WDRB. “We got some family members that really feel just in shock.”

Louisville activist Christopher 2X also spoke out about the effect Newby’s shooting had on the city.

“It was almost a situation that was a Ferguson before the Ferguson,” 2X told WDRB.

Reaction online was mixed, with nearly 100 comments on its Facebook posts as of Thursday morning. Some defended Mattingly.

“Was he convicted? If not … welcome to the force,” one person posted on WDRB’s Facebook page.

“Isn’t this the officer that shot the armed gang banger selling dope on the corner?” another posted. “Probably saved a life or two and saved tax payers (sic) lots of money they would have payed (sic) to house him in prison.”

But many others were critical of his return.

“I don’t have anything against all officers, but this guy is a bad seed,” one poster commented.

“I think LMPD has enough going on, You would think they would want to move in a more positive direction,” another commented.