LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A police officer involved in the fatal shooting of West End business owner David McAtee had celebrated earlier on Facebook when a protester was shot by pepper balls.
Officer Katie Crews, who was placed on administrative reassignment Monday in the fatal shooting, posted a Courier Journal photo of a protester across from her and said, "I hope the pepper balls that she got lit up with a little later on hurt."
A screenshot of the post circulated on social media sites.
New Police Chief Robert Schroeder said Monday night he is aware of the post and started a professional standards investigation into it.
The photo in Crews' post, taken Thursday, shows a protester offering flowers to Crews.
"She was saying and doing a lot more than ‘offering flowers’ to me. Just so for it to be known," Crews wrote in the post. "For anyone that knows me and knows that facial expression tells everything."
After mentioning the pepper balls, Crews ended the post with "Come back and get ya some more ole girl, I’ll be on the line again tonight.”
Crews joined the Louisville Metro Police Department in 2018 and does not have any disciplinary records, according to the department.
After learning that Crews and LMPD Officer Allen Austin had no body camera footage from the shooting incident in which McAtee died, Mayor Greg Fischer fired Police Chief Steve Conrad, who was slated to retire at the end of the month.
Police said that shortly after midnight Monday, someone shot at officers from a parking lot at 26th and Broadway where a large number of people were gathered. LMPD and National Guard troops returned fire, killing McAtee, who ran a popular barbecue stand nearby.
Police said they don't know whether McAtee was the person who fired at police.
Contributing: Olivia Krauth
Follow Ben Tobin on Twitter: @TobinBen.