Bailey Loosemore, Louisville Courier Journal, June 16, 2022
Three days before Juneteenth — a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the 1800s — Mayor Greg Fischer apologized to Louisville’s Black residents, acknowledging the city’s role in instituting and upholding racist systems that have oppressed them for generations.
“I cannot erase all the injustices from the first slave ships to today,” he said Thursday at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. “But what I can do is offer a sincere apology from me as a person and, more importantly, on behalf of the institution of the city government of Louisville.”
The apology came during a Juneteenth luncheon organized by the Metro Human Relations Commission.
Following the speech, the Rev. Corrie Shull, a Jefferson County Public Schools board member, told the audience it had just witnessed history.
Fischer, who’s third and final term ends this year, has drawn criticism for his handling of the police killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman shot in March 2020 by officers serving a no-knock search warrant at her south end apartment.
On Thursday, Fischer cited Taylor’s “tragic death” as an example of injustices wrought by white people and specifically police, though he did not apologize directly for her killing.
“For now, along with this apology, I pledge to continue to fight injustice for my remaining time as mayor, and all my breaths thereafter.”
(Editor’s note: A few days after the apology, Mayor Fischer was sucker-punched by a black man at a Juneteenth event.)