David McAtee, now former operator of Yaya’s BBQ, was loved in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville as well as fondly remembered for his big influence and offer of free food.
His sad death resulting from a bullet fired by the law enforcement team is something so shocking for his many acquaintances to come to terms with.
NPR News reported that McAtee, an experienced chef, was early on Monday morning killed at his barbecue business spot when National Guard and Louisville Metro Police Department officers responded to reports that protesters had assembled close to the corner of 26th Street in violation of the city’s 9 p.m. restriction.
The officers tried dispersing the crowd with pepper balls when a gunshot was fired in their direction. Afterwards, the officers fired the live shot which hit McAtee.
In a February chat with the local photo blog West of Ninth, McAtee said he had about 3 decades experience with barbecues, and that he had been at that location for 24 months.
Community leaders, family and friends feel critical about McAtee’s death early Monday and do not believe police reports of the sad incident.
Marvin McAtee, David’s nephew, said the ‘BBQ man’ fed many persons for free, including the very police that shot him dead.
Also speaking to NPR’s, Ari Shapiro, in front of his uncle’s business outlet, Marvin said he remembers a certain customer who called David big-hearted on account of his exploits with barbecue.
WCBE 90.5 FM reports that 28 year old Marvin McAtee said his late uncle was primarily a business man as well as one who was highly family-oriented.
28 year old McAtee was among some surviving family members and friends who gathered to mourn at Yaya’s BBQ, where the late McAtee both lived and operated his thriving business.
Marvin said his uncle made his business outfit quite welcoming so family and friends found it a great place they could stop by each day.
Marvin was absent when his uncle’s death occurred early Monday morning, nevertheless he has a strong disbelieve his late uncle would have fired shots at the officers.
He believes his late uncle was calm and capable of managing any kind of situation.
The younger McAtee said he was still trying to imagine life without his late uncle who he believed would have died in the course of trying to save his niece.
Before the late McAtee started Yaya’s BBQ, he had served as a head cook at a Volunteers of America shelter and halfway house in Louisville.
Also, Brandon Smallwood who worked closely with him as a kitchen manager noted the deceased gave care in almost the same measure as he loved cooking for people.
Smallwood said the shelter residents were like family and the late ‘BBQ Man’ was a happy man who loved feeding everyone and making people happy.
McAtee’s controversial death ignited an immediate outcry in Louisville, where daily protests were already being held to demand justice over the recent murder of George Floyd and other African Americans in the hands of the police.
After some hours on Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer sacked the chief of police when it became known that the LMPD officers who were at the scene Monday morning violated the department policy by refusing to switch on their body cameras.
Authorities made public two security camera videos on Tuesday which police agree proved that McAtee had a gun and was the first to shoot, before the police fired back.
According to News Break, in the videos, one interior and one exterior, over 10 persons were seen running inside the open door at McAtee’s outfit while the police chased them. McAtee was seen reaching out of the doorway. Soon afterward he held his chest, stumbled back inside and fell on the floor.
Assistant Chief of Police, LaVita Chavous, on Tuesday noted that he was just going to say that there were still a lot of questions and that the video might generate fewer answers than questions.
Marvin McAtee feels angry about the National Guard showing up armed to the teeth as a response to curfew violation in West End when there were no protests going on there.
Marvin also queries why the police had to respond with lethal rounds when they could have responded with pellets and tear gas.
Also, Attica Scott, representative of that part of Louisville where McAtee was shot dead by police, hinted McAtee’s death should be blamed on Governor Andy Beshear’s activation of the National Guard to help in managing the violence associated with the death of George Floyd in Louisville.