LAWSUIT: LMPD officer assaulted man and fabricated charges to co - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LAWSUIT: LMPD officer assaulted man and fabricated charges to cover it up

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This image is taken from a YouTube video which appears to show a LMPD officer strike a person with a flashlight. This image is taken from a YouTube video which appears to show a LMPD officer strike a person with a flashlight.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- A Louisville man has filed a lawsuit against a Louisville Metro Police officer, claiming the officer struck him in the head with a flashlight at 4th Street Live in 2011 and "fabricated charges in an attempt to cover up the assault."

Zackery Hoagland alleges in the suit, filed on Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court, that Officer James Conley hit him “without legal justification” and then prosecuted Hoagland, whose charges were dismissed earlier this month.

In 2012, a Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict Conley on charges of assault. An investigation into the incident began after a video surfaced on YouTube showing Conley striking a person in the head with a flashlight at 4th Street Live on Sept. 11, 2011.

Metro Police spokesperson Officer Carey Klain said Conley is still with the department.

A message left for Conley through Klain was not immediately returned. Klain said the department could not comment on pending litigation.

According to the suit, Hoagland was leaving a 4th Street business when someone made a lewd comment to one of his friends. When Hoagland told the person to leave his friend alone and started backing away, Conley approached and “shoved him against the wall behind him” before striking him in the head, the suit claims. Hoagland was charged with resisting arrest, menacing, disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication.

"He just assaulted Zach for no reason," said Steve Romines, an attorney representing Hoagland. "The charges were to cover up for the assault. Fortunately somebody videotaped it."

At a bench trial on April 14, a judge found Hoagland not guilty of all the charges.

Romines said the trial was delayed, in part, because of litigation over whether the defense could use Hoagland's statements to a grand jury.

The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.

You can watch the video here on YouTube, but as a warning, the video contains profanities and some may find it disturbing.

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