Christopher McKinney was killed on January 5, 2020 in Louisville, KY at Nowhere Bar. One year has passed since his untimely death. As you may know, the bouncer who killed Christopher was not charged criminally by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. Louisville Metro Police Department did not properly investigate this case – they did not test the bouncer for drugs or alcohol even though he admitted he was under the influence, they failed to seize surveillance footage, and there were three police officers who were working as off-duty security at the bar that night. They knew and worked with the bouncer, and also transported him to the homicide unit for questioning. This is not right.
Witness video interviews and police body camera footage show Christopher was not a physical threat, and was taken advantage of by staff. Countless victims of security as well as former employees have also reached out to tell their stories of the unnecessary actions taken by security.
I always hear of the justice system being completely backwards, and never did I think that I would have to experience the inefficient nature of it. I have met with the detective and the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney who made the decision not to prosecute. She wouldn’t even bother to send the case to the grand jury to review the evidence.
The bouncer who killed Christopher was also under the influence, and admitted that to police the night of questioning, yet they didn’t test him for alcohol or drugs.
Additionally, the bouncer has a violent history which is public record. He was not background checked or trained.
After the meeting with the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney (mentioned above), I drafted a letter to the Commonwealth’s Attorney (her boss), Tom Wine, summarizing our meeting with her and the improper and careless investigation. He kindly spoke to us on the phone, without even having reviewed the evidence in full, to tell us that they would still not be pressing charges.
She wrote that based on evidence in the case, the conduct of the bouncer “was not criminal in nature” as defined in Kentucky statutes.
She said the employee exhibited the “legally proper use of physical force in self-protection as defined in KRS 503.050,”
That section of Kentucky’s statutes says using physical force “is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person.”
But, there was no evidence or testimony beyond the bouncer’s statement that showed Christopher was a physical threat or swung at the bouncer first. He wanted to get his coat, get an Uber and go home.
Two very credible witnesses waiting in line to get inside the bar saw the entire incident happen, claiming that Christopher did not deserve the way he was treated, he was completely defenseless and that Christopher was knocked out “MMA-style” with one blow.
In a letter dated August 10, 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine wrote “it is our opinion that the one blow will not meet the elements of either ‘extreme indifference to human life’ or conduct ‘which creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury.’”
This was their opinion and they did not consult with Christopher’s treating physicians at University of Louisville Hospital. Wine also stated in his letter that this was a “freak event” and that the bouncer “struck Mr. McKinney only one time. Mr. McKinney’s head then struck the ground.”
Wine did not review the evidence, clearly. In the questioning of the bouncer at the homicide unit, they factually determined Christopher’s head did not strike the ground at all. He also did not sustain any injuries to the back of his head.
Wine also states the “video from the interrogation room shows the bouncer to be calm and coherent.” That is correct. He was sleeping like a baby for hours with no concern or remorse. If you were being questioned in the killing of someone, wouldn’t you be slightly worried or concerned, not passed out on the table for hours? Additionally, Detective Mickey Cohn only questioned the bouncer for a total of 20 minutes. 20 MINUTES for the death of a human being!!!
The bouncer also stated that Christopher swung his left arm to punch him. Christopher was right-handed. He did not swing at all – he was just trying to get the bouncer off of him so he could go home! The bouncer stated that Christopher didn’t even make contact, and that when he was escorting Christopher out of the bar, Christopher couldn’t walk straight and was visibly intoxicated.
Christopher was a vulnerable patron that was taken advantage of by a power-hungry bouncer who was under the influence, has a violent history and who had no training and no business working as security at that bar.