Lawsuit: Louisville police wrongfully arrested, used Taser on man driving home with family
Video from a police cruiser dash camera shows Louisville Metro Police arrest and use of stun gun against Louis Briggs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man claims in a federal lawsuit he was improperly detained, tazed and wrongfully arrested and charged by "overzealous" police who then tried to cover up their conduct while the case was being prosecuted.
Louis Briggs alleges he was pulling into his driveway at his home in the 3000 block of Farnsley Road with his family when Louisville Metro Police officers Richard Williams and Katelyn Hogan pulled him over for expired tags in June 2014.
"The traffic stop resulted from the actions of overzealous, untrained, and unsupervised police officers who then intentionally, with malice, offered false evidence in an attempt to effectively cover up" their actions, according to the suit, filed last week by attorney Shaun Wimberly Sr. in U.S. District Court.
According to court records, Briggs exited his vehicle and became "combative" with police and was tazed by Williams after he took "an aggressive stance."
As police officers stood a handcuffed Briggs back up, he head-butted and kicked Hogan, according to an arrest report.
Neither the police nor the city comment on pending litigation. Claims made in filing a lawsuit present only one side of the case.
Dash cam video of the incident in court records shows Briggs getting out of the vehicle as Officer Williams approaches. There is no sound of the conversation but Williams almost immediately begins trying to handcuff Briggs.
Briggs resists and Williams uses his Taser, knocking him to the ground, the video shows. Williams then cuffs Briggs with the help of Hogan.
As the officers bring him to his feet, Briggs quickly whirls around, his head possibly striking Hogan, according to the video. Hogan then points her Taser at Briggs as Williams puts him in a police cruiser.
While sitting in the cruiser, Briggs repeatedly asks Williams why he is being arrested. Williams tells him because he was resisting officers, according to the dash cam video.
Police found a bag of marijuana and a knife in Briggs' vehicle, according to court records.
The lawsuit -- which names the officers, Metro Government, Mayor Greg Fischer and County Attorney Mike O'Connell -- claims police filed eight charges against Briggs, including felony assault of a police officer and wanton endangerment.
The felony charges were dismissed in December 2015, with a prosecutor for the Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney's office writing that the assault charge would be "more properly categorized as a misdemeanor Resisting Arrest," according to court records. The prosecutor wrote there was not enough evidence to get a jury to convict.
The misdemeanor charges were dismissed in November.
Briggs claims in the suit that police "unlawfully" initiated the charges and "wrongfully" prosecuted him for two years, causing mental anguish and legal expenses.
The suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial. Claims made in filing a lawsuit present only one side of the case.
Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.