A family’s memories of a police shooting that rocked Louisville more than a decade ago is being documented for posterity.
The oral history project StoryCorps visited Louisville this weekend to interview Jerry and Angela Bougess. The Bougess are the parents of Michael Newby, an African-American teenager fatally shot by a Louisville Police officer in January 2004.
Their interview will be archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
“I don’t know if, nationally, people are aware of who Michael Newby was and what exactly happened,” said Andres Caballero, a producer with StoryCorps.
Newby died after being shot in the back by undercover officer McKenzie Mattingly. Shortly after the shooting, Mattingly was indicted on murder charges. Mattingly was acquitted by a jury and is now employed by Bardstown Police.
Caballero said Newby’s story parallels recent deadly encounters between police and African-American men.
“Maybe he didn’t get as much attention nationally as others have now, but it’s still an important story that we can learn a lot from,” Caballero said.
StoryCorps is an independently funded non-profit that aims to share people’s experiences through oral storytelling, according to their website.
More than 60,000 interviews have been collected and archived by StoryCorps producers since 2003, according to its website. Select interviews are broadcast weekly on NPR’s Morning Edition.
During his visit to Louisville, Caballero also interviewed Ki’Anthony Tyus, who was 9-years-old when he was injured by gun violence last year.
Caballero said the interview with Tyus is part of a larger effort by StoryCorps to capture how young victims of gun violence and their families cope with the traumatic events.
“It’s been a pretty amazing experience, just to hear how they talk about confronting these incidents not through more violence, but through a peaceful approach,” he said. “Like Ki’Anthony told me, he said it’s about spreading the love, instead. Those are beautiful stories.”
Both interviews will be archived in the Library of Congress and may potentially be broadcast nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition.