LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – A woman was sitting on the ground, with her hands behind her back when a Louisville Metro Police officer marched a few paces away and said, "Alright, here we go," before Tazing her.
A handcuffed man was thrown to the ground by the same officer a few months later in January 2017, where he was berated, cursed and told to "Listen to me boy!"
These are two of the three excessive use of force incidents Chief Steve Conrad described in multiple investigations that led to the firing of Officer Gregory Satterly in April, a decision Conrad said was necessary for the community's protection.
A summary of the three investigations into Satterly's conduct as well as the chief's termination letter was released this week after an open records request by WDRB News.
An LMPD spokeswoman said it could take months before the body camera videos of the incidents are released.
In the April termination letter, Conrad said that after reviewing body cam from three cases of alleged use of force violations, he concluded Satterly had a “pattern of aggressive and angry behavior.”
"Unfortunately, after reviewing these cases, I believe our community needs to be protected from you," Conrad wrote.
Satterly could not be reached for comment.
Investigations into Satterly’s conduct began in 2017, regarding his use of a Taser on a woman during an Oct. 23, 2016 stop.
The woman, who is not named in a summary of the investigation, was seated on the ground with her legs in front of her and her hands behind her back, Conrad wrote in his letter. It is unclear from the documents whether she was handcuffed.
Satterly’s body cam video shows him back up from the woman and say, Alright, here we go,” before Tazing her, even though she was not a threat, Conrad said.
"It is clear you made up your mind to tase (the woman); her subsequent compliance did not alter your course,” Conrad wrote. “I believe you acted out of anger rather than out of a perceived threat of immediate danger to an officer or another person.”
In another incident, Satterly admitted to internal investigators that he used excessive force on a handcuffed man he was arresting, throwing the man to the ground and screaming at him during a traffic stop on Jan. 14, 2017.
As the man was being arrested, he pointed out that Satterly had a tool in the backseat and asked if it could be moved or was a weapon, according to a summary of the incident.
Satterly told the man, "It can be used as a weapon."
When the man responded, "Yeah, I bet it could," Satterly asked him if he was making a threat and threw him to the ground.
"In this situation, you overreacted and used physical force when it was not reasonable," Chief Conrad wrote. “After you took the handcuffed suspect to the ground, you again allowed your anger to take over and you continued to berate (the man) including yelling at him to ‘Listen to me boy!'"
Satterly admitted he could have handled the situation differently and the use of force was not appropriate, according to Conrad's letter.
In addition, on Nov. 22, 2017, Satterly "used unreasonable force" on another handcuffed suspect, taking him to the ground and injuring the man, according to the records.
The man filed a complaint on Nov. 28 saying that Satterly was called to a domestic violence situation and was handcuffed in front of his child. After being taken outside, the man said Satterly "took him to the ground while handcuffed," injuring the man's hand.
“You don’t want to listen; this is the end result … this is your end result right here,” Satterly said, according to the investigative summary.
When the man told Satterly “you’re hurting my hand,” the officer replied, “Well, you should have listened.”
Satterly also failed to provide first aid or call EMS for the injured man, according to a summary of the incident. The man was charged with terrorist threatening but later released without Satterly reporting it to his supervisor.
And Satterly was found to have lied about the incident, including that the citizen was injured, that he was arrested and released and whether force was used.
In all, Satterly was found to have violated several policies on use of force, treatment of suspects, truthfulness, Taser use, courtesy, profanity and reporting guidelines.
"I cannot tolerate untruthfulness or unreasonable use of force both of which warrant termination," Conrad wrote.
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