City pays $96,000 to settle lawsuit claiming wrongful arrest, as - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City pays $96,000 to settle lawsuit claiming wrongful arrest, assault by LMPD

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Charles Meek Charles Meek
Michael Trevino Michael Trevino
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Metro Government has paid $96,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of a man who claimed he was unreasonably searched, assaulted and then wrongly arrested by two Louisville Metro Police officers in 2012.

The city on Oct. 24 issued a check to Gary Carver and his girlfriend, Amanda Price, settling a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of Carver on Jan. 12, 2012, and a vehicle stop of Price two days later.

"We feel that it was an equitable and fair settlement," said Bill Patteson, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Attorney's Office, which represented the city, police department, Chief Steve Conrad and the two officers.

Gregory Simms, an attorney for Price and Carver, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

In 2012, a Jefferson District Court judge dismissed charges against Carver, finding Officers Charles Meek and Michael Trevino had violated his constitutional rights and had given "contradictory testimony" of what had happened, according to documents filed on behalf of Carver in the suit.

While documents in the lawsuit claim the police officers lied under oath, the criminal case is no longer available in Jefferson District Court, meaning it has likely been expunged, or erased, from the system.

A transcript of the criminal hearing on July 18, 2012, where Judge Katie King listened to testimony from the officers as well as audio from a recorder Carver had with him the night of the arrest, is contained in the civil suit but does not include King's final ruling.

In addition, the lawsuit claims Meek "sought to harass and intimidate the Carver household because of this case," pulling over Price on Jan. 14, 2012, because he couldn't read the temporary license plate in her rear window.

Attorneys for Carver and Price claim Meek turned off his cruiser camera during the stop, telling Price, wrongly, that she had a warrant for her arrest and also threatening to have her children taken away.

WDRB has requested personnel files for Meek and Trevino, who are both still with the department.

In a deposition in the lawsuit, Meek said that he received a letter of reprimand for not turning on his cruiser video when Carver was arrested, driving Carver to jail without the defendant wearing a seat belt and not recording the full stop of Price. But Meek declined, telling Price he would have her children removed from her home.

Also, Meek said Carver refused to keep his seat belt on and that the officer turned off the cruiser video during the Price stop because he felt he needed to save "as much videotape as I could" and didn't think the stop would amount to anything, according to his deposition in the lawsuit.

The city defended the officers in the lawsuit, saying that after Meek initially responded to a domestic violence complaint on Jan. 12, 2014, he saw someone who fit the description of the suspect.

The man, who turned out to be Carver, was "belligerent, profane and uncooperative" when police attempted to search him, according to court records filed by the city.

As he was being searched, Carver tensed up and "began pulling away," grabbing Trevino's leg and causing both officers to fall, according to the officers. Carver was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer.

Carver claims he was stopped without reasonable suspicion, searched without consent, put in a chokehold and then slammed to the ground, breaking a tooth. Carver's attorney wrote in the lawsuit that he identified himself and was not hostile or belligerent.

A District Court judge dismissed the case against Carver because the search was "prolonged, intrusive and ultimately unreasonable," according to records in the lawsuit. The judge ruled the officers should have done more in order to make sure they had the right person and that any disorderly conduct was "instigated" by police, according to Carver's attorney.

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