LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A teenager's traffic stop in west Louisville more than two years ago sparked calls for police accountability and even changed policies in Louisville Metro Police. But no one will be held accountable in the case.
In 2018, Tae-Ahn Lea's viral traffic stop caused outrage in the community. The teenager was pulled over near 18th Street and Algonquin Parkway, handcuffed and detained for allegedly making a wide turn, according to police. He was pulled from his car, handcuffed for nearly 20 minutes and made to wait for a drug search with a police K-9.
"It's one more example of what I feel to be a pattern of a lack of transparency, of accountability and unwillingness to right what is wrong," said Metro Councilwoman Jessica Green (D-1), citing an LMPD memo that has now surfaced from November 2020.
The internal document shows then-acting Chief Yvette Gentry ruled the case "closed by exception" due to Detective Kevin Crawford's resignation, even though he resigned from LMPD more than a year earlier.
"We have interviewed all available officers. Officer Crawford did not respond to investigators contacts for an interview. No additional evidence can be gathered," the memo reads.
In September 2019, Crawford was hired by the Jeffersonville Police Department.
"It was completely disrespectful to everything that Tae-Ahn has gone through, and it was disrespectful to the community, as the community has waited for answers," Green said.
Lea's civil lawsuit is still working its way through the court system. Attorney Lonita Baker released the following statement to WDRB:
"The family is very disappointed. The behavior should not be acceptable under any conditions or circumstances. This is another way that LMPD has signed off on inappropriate behavior by officers."
LMPD changed its traffic stop policy on when officers can and cannot pull a driver from the car. Every officer on the force was retrained after Lea's traffic stop.
- Family of Louisville teen at center of controversial traffic stop throws support behind resolution for more transparency
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