The police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, has been fired after the mayor learned that officers involved in a shooting that killed the popular owner of a barbecue spot failed to activate body cameras.
David McAtee, known for offering meals to police officers, died early on Monday while police officers and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew amid waves of protests over police killings of black people.
The nationwide protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd in custody in Minneapolis.
Louisville police said they were responding to gunfire from a crowd on the night McAtee died.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer revealed that authorities lacked body camera video for the investigation just hours after Kentucky's governor demanded the release of police video.
"This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated," Fischer said.
"Accordingly, I have relieved Steve Conrad of his duties as chief of Louisville Metro Police Department."
Governor Andy Beshear later said the lack of body camera footage was unacceptable.
"This is the entire reason that we have those cameras," the Democratic governor said.
US Attorney Russell Coleman announced that federal authorities will be part of a state police investigation.
The governor said he had counted on body camera footage to help determine "the truth in a way that spoke for itself, at a time when trust is difficult and people deserve to be able to see and evaluate."
Police said they did retrieve video from crime centre cameras that showed officers reacting to gunfire and returning fire.
Several "persons of interest" were being interviewed.
McAtee, whose YaYa's BBQ Shack is near where the shooting occurred, was mourned by hundreds of people who returned to the site hours afterward.
Police acknowledged that McAtee was friendly to officers and had made sure they had good meals on their shifts.
Australian Associated Press