A profile by Courier-Journal reports that David McAtee, the Kentucky man who was shot by the National Guard on Monday morning, used to provide police officers with free meals at his western Louisville barbecue business, YaYa’s BBQ.
“He fed them free,” his mother, Odessa Riley, said about her son.
“He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing.”
Greg Cotton, Jr., who lives in Middletown, claimed that McAtee helped out on Californian Day for at least 15 years.
“He was one of the ones who would donate all his time and all his food, everybody could just come up and take it and he wouldn’t charge because it was for the neighborhood.”
Metro Council President David James also noted McAtee’s commitment to the California neighborhood and other parts of the West End.
“He believes in this neighborhood,” James said. “He loves his city, loves his neighborhood, loves to cook food, loves to keep people happy with his sense of humor. He’s just a great guy.”
YaYa’s BBQ is located next to the Dino’s Food Mart parking lot at 26th and Broadway, where McAtee was shot at approximately 12:15 a.m. The shooting allegedly began when Louisville police and National Guard began to break up a crowd that gathered in the parking lot. According to Louisville Chief Steve Conrad, someone fired at officers, which prompted both officers and soldiers to return fire.
McAtee’s family is demanding that the body camera video of the incident be released, and the National Guard be removed from the city.
David McAtee was shot and killed by LMPD officers and the National Guard this morning. Family and witnesses say law enforcement should have never been there. McAtee was serving food at his bbq spot at the time.
— Phylicia Ashley (@pashleywave3) June 1, 2020
Per WAVE 3 News, McAtee’s sister claimed that the crowd that gathered in the parking lot was not taking part in the protests of George Floyd that filled the streets of Louisville Sunday night. According to McAtee’s sister, the group gathered in the area every Sunday for food and music, and McAtee was serving food before he was killed.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement on McAtee’s death on Facebook and offered his “deepest, deepest condolences” to the deceased’s family and friends.
“Obviously there are many questions about the incident,” Fischer wrote. “I am committed to getting all the answers out as quickly as possible.”
Louisville recently made headlines when video footage surfaced that showed a police officer in the city appeared to fire rubber bullets at a WAVE reporter Kaitlin Rust, who was covering the protests in the city. The video sparked an outcry from many critics, who accused the police departments of using excessively forceful tactics in an attempt to get the protests under control.