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Kentucky Police Kill Desman LaDuke After Mental Wellness Check

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Kentucky Police Kill Desman LaDuke After Mental Wellness Check
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Police in Nicholasville, Kentucky shot and killed 22-year-old Desman LaDuke after his family called for a wellness-check believing he was suffering from a mental health crisis.

On Saturday October 22, Nicholasville, Kentucky police responded to a call from a family member who called the police for help, saying Desman was struggling with the desire to live.

According to a statement from the family, “nine different officers in tactical gear promptly surrounded Desman’s home and pointed assault rifles at the doors and windows.”

The Nicholasville Police Department claimed they were “confronted by an armed individual,” a contradiction to the family’s statement that “any suggestion that officers made entry into Desman’s home, were threatened inside the home by Desman, and shot Desman from inside the home, are false.”

“Desman was alone in his home and inside his bedroom when he was shot, through the bedroom window, by a police officer positioned outside the home,” the family’s statement reads.

(Screenshot from video of officers surrounding Desman’s home)

LaDuke’s aunt, Melissa Marks, has had custody of Desman since his mother passed away in 2011, according to WTVQ. His brother passed away three years ago after a drowning accident, making certain days difficult with grief. Marks received a call from LaDuke’s girlfriend saying that he had a gun and was threatening to commit suicide.

“I wish that I never called the police. I wish I would have just called him first until I could get there,” Marks said.

Desman LaDuke killed by police following mental wellness call

Marks said when she arrived on the scene she begged officers to allow her to go into the home to talk to Desman but was denied entry by officers.

It’s unclear what led to the fatal shot fired by officers. The Black Wall Street Times reached out to Nicholasville Police Department to request bodycam footage but haven’t heard back at the time of publishing.

In a statement released yesterday, Nicholasville police said they “immediately activated its special response team and crisis negotiation team, which consists of two negotiators who have been specially trained in working with individuals experiencing mental health issues.”

The investigation has been turned over to Kentucky State Police according to Chief Todd Justice.

“Our officers do their best in situations like this, with immediate threats to the safety of themselves and others. We contacted the Kentucky State Police immediately following the incident and are cooperating fully with their ongoing investigation.”

This is a developing story.

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