Last Sunday (May 10), police in Kentucky shot John Kennedy Fenwick after a car chase that ended in a deputy shooting the suspect during a fight. The sheriff for the county where the incident took place held a press conference Monday (May 11) and expressed what seemed to be relief that Fenwick wasn’t a Black person.
The bizarre press conference announcement started out normally enough with Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin explaining the finer details of the situation that ended with the shooting of the 25-year-old Fenwick. Fenwick and a sheriff’s deputy fought at the end of a chase after cops caught up with the stolen truck Fenwick was driving. As Fenwick went for the deputy’s gun, he was then shot. Fenwick survived the shooting, but the chase left officers injured and cars damaged according to local reports.
Around 12 minutes into the conference, Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly responded to a reporter’s question regarding any impending reaction from the community in this latest incident in where a police officer shot a suspect.
“We must take notice of previous cases and how the media has handled those situations. We want the public to be informed and accurately informed. We do not want trouble,” Mattingly said. “The media has not done a very good job of informing the public, and the public is not educated on how the system actually works.”
Mattingly added, “We are glad that he is white, and we shouldn’t have to be worried about that. And we do not want any backlash or violence in this community because people have been misinformed. I think that the public needs to know how the criminal justice system works and what officers are able to do.”
So basically, Mattingly is aware of the disproportionate rate of Black people killed by police when compared to whites and understands how the “backlash” he warned against happened. Yet, it appears Mattingly is putting the onus of the nationwide reactions and debate over police violence onto the media instead of the officers who the public entrusts to uphold the law and not gun people of color down. Does that add up for anyone else? Didn’t think so.
What’s apparent is he didn’t want a certain, ahem, element in his county if the shoe was ever on the other foot.
Watch Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly embarrass his police department by actually declaring he was glad a suspect shot by one of his deputies was a white man. Start the video around the 12:30 mark.