David McAtee’s Family Files Lawsuit

After a Louisville, Kentucky restaurant owner was gunned down by police, his family has filed a lawsuit.

Source: Handout / Family of David McAtee

If you can recall, back in June LMPD was dispersing a crowd in the parking lot of Dino’s Food Mart nearby Mr. David “BBQ” Man McAtee’s restaurant, Yaya’s BBQ. The group was out past a mandatory curfew that was enforced following protests over Breanna Taylor’s death. Officers said someone shot at them and they returned fire, fatally striking Mr. Mcatee who was considered a “legend” in the city and fed local police for free.

According to The Courier-Journal, McAtee’s family is alleging that police used excessive force and believe officers and National Guard soldiers “violated multiple department policies and a directive from the chief.”

Police and state officials have pointed out that ballistic evidence and security cameras show McAtee firing at least two rounds from his 9 mm handgun that night and that two guard members and two LMPD officers, Katie Crews and Austin Allen, fired at least 19 shots in response. McAtee was fatally shot in the chest. The family believes that the restaurant owner didn’t realize the “approaching mob” was made up of law enforcement officers.

“He had every reason to believe that these people that are shooting and not announcing that they’re police, were not police,” family attorney Steve Romines said to WHAS-11.

Romines argues McAtee thought people who were not from Louisville were possibly shooting outside of his business and McAtee’s niece was hit three times by pepper balls prompting the businessman to act in self-defense.

“If somebody goes and pulls out one of those guns they were using to shoot pepper balls at LMPD, they’re going to kill them because they’re going to say ‘it looked like a gun’ okay that’s what they were shooting people with,” Romines said to WHAS-11. “They’re expecting [McAtee] to distinguish between a projectile fired at 500 feet per second.”

The family is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death, assault on McAtee and his niece, excessive use of force, negligence, trespassing, and emotional distress, reports The Courier-Journal. 

Best wishes to the family and friends of David McAtee as they continue to seek justice.

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