From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Lanier, Shelby J., Jr.

(born: April 20, 1936  -  died: March 24, 2019) 

Shelby J. Lanier, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, and was a graduate of the University of Louisville. In 1971, he organized the Black Police Officers Organization and was its first president. In 1974, he organized the National Black Police Association and pushed for a discrimination suit against the Louisville Police Department. A consent decree resulted in compensation, hiring, promotions, assignments, and change in disciplinary practices, with $4.7 million awarded to 96 African Americans who had been denied employment. Shelby Lanier, Jr. was the first African American motorcycle police officer in Louisville. He joined the police force in 1965 and served for 27 years. He was elected president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP in 1988. Shelby Lanier, Jr. died in March of 2019. He was the son of Shelby Sr. and Florine R. Bridgeman Lanier.

For more see African American Biographies 2: profiles of 332 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006; and A. Wolfson and D. Costello, "Civil rights leader who pushed Louisville police to hire more black officers dies," Courier Journal, 03/25/2019. See Shelby J. Lanier, Jr. at Find a Grave.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lanier, Shelby J., Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-16 17:08:06