LMPD officer faces criminal charges in smacking incident - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD officer faces criminal charges in smacking incident

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A questionable arrest caught on camera leads to criminal charges against a Louisville police officer.  The March 31st arrest has Fourth Division officer David Graham charged with harassment with physical contact and official misconduct.

The video turned in by a WDRB viewer appears to show Graham slapping and shoving a handcuffed John Sanders, who does not fight back.

Sanders and Dejuan Alexander were arrested in connection to a violent robbery in Old Louisville earlier that night.

A 911 call led to the arrest:

Dispatch: "This is 911, can you tell me exactly what happened?"

Alexander Davis, Robbery Victim: "I was walking home from work, I was going down Oak Street.  And a guy, I was walking right across the corner of 4th and Oak, he came out of nowhere and just started hitting me in the head.  Then I fell to the ground and they just kept kicking and hitting me and asking me for money of which I didn't have any and they took my phone and my wallet and my bookbag."

WDRB News combed through 161 pages of discovery and transcripts from police interviews.  We learned Graham had his girlfriend in the car for a ridealong on the night of the arrest.

Two other officers on the scene did not report the incident with Sanders.

Officer Eugenio Castaneda told detectives from the Public Integrity Unit, "I seen Graham, you know, pretty much just smack the guy and he was like, flyin' over my car.  My brain was like, Uhhhhhh. What're we supposed to do?"

Six months later, Sanders remains behind bars, with no trial date and having been denied reduction on a $10,000 bond.  He faces charges for complicity to commit robbery and tampering with physical evidence.

Graham remains on desk duty, due in court next month to face his own criminal charges.

Meanwhile, LMPD's Professional Standards Unit is reviewing the matter and Chief Steve Conrad will ultimately decide if the smack will cost the officer his job.

Officer Graham is a 13-year veteran of the LMPD force, with many commendations to his credit.

In 2008, he was suspended for 30 days after pleading guilty to 3rd degree criminal mischief.

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