Four young men wrongly arrested say they were racially profiled - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Four young men wrongly arrested say they were racially profiled

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The four young men wrongly arrested by police after a night of mob violence in Louisville last March are talking about what happened to them.

The "misidentified four" and their attorneys held a press conference Thursday morning to talk about their $1.5 million settlement with the city. Shaquazz Allen, Tyrone Booker Jr., Jerron Bush and Craig Dean were all charged in connection to a robbery that happened in March of last year, the same day as an outbreak of mob violence in downtown Louisville. Police say a man with the victim made a positive identification. 

Allen and Booker also faced charges in connection to a separate assault. In that case, police say witnesses who were victims of the mob violence downtown identified them as the attackers after seeing their pictures on TV. 

All four were exonerated of the charges. 

"We were sitting on the porch. They came and got us. We were the first black people they seen," Booker said. 

The men believe they were racially profiled by police. 

"They humiliated our names and our backgrounds," Bush said. 

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad has said his officers made a mistake and didn't follow the proper policy for identifications, but he doesn't believe the officers' actions were based solely on race. 

"It's very important going forward that based on the horrible experience of these young men, that they do it right in the future and that in the future, people who are innocent not be identified of committing a crime they didn't do at a place they weren't at," said civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein, who's been representing the men. 

Gerhardstein says police did not separate the victims in the robbery like they should have. "There was statements like, 'We've got people for you to ID,' suggesting that maybe the perpetrator had been found," he said about the investigation. "And then you pull up and you see four people spotlighted, holding their hands up like this, and then the victims point out two of them. Not four of them. And those individuals, these young men, were wearing clothing that didn't match what the victims had actually identified to the police." 

The city has agreed to pay the men $1.5 million, but some of the men say it doesn't make up for what they went through. Especially after spending time behind bars and on home incarceration. 

Mayor Greg Fischer apologized to the men about their wrongful arrests Wednesday and they accept. 

"His apology was very sincere," Dean said. 

"The apology meant more than the money," said Cheri Allen, Shaquazz Allen's mother. "So, the money I'm not even thinking about."

Craig Dean says he hopes the money helps them get back on track. 

Still, the men say they don't feel comfortable on the streets of Louisville anymore. Dean says they may be targets of the system. 

Now some of these young men plan on leaving their home town. 

"I'm going to move me and my family somewhere where we can at least enjoy life and not have to look over our shoulders," Booker said. 

Attorneys for the men say they were on the verge of filing a lawsuit but through talks they were able to reach a settlement. 

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