Teenage murder victim filed lawsuit claiming he was abused, terrified of police

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Days after two Louisville teenagers were murdered, we’re learning more about the oldest victim, 16-year-old Maurice Gordon.

In a lawsuit from 2014, Gordon claimed he was physically and verbally abused at LMPD’s Gentleman’s Academy. At just 14 years old, he said he became afraid of police.

"I will never trust cops in my life," he wrote in the lawsuit. "I think they are going to find me or see me and shoot me."

The mission of the Gentlemen's Academy was to make positive changes in the lives of young men.

“It turned out to be a nightmare,” Attorney Thomas Clay said.

Clay says Gordon's mother, Elizabeth Wren, came to him to file a lawsuit.

“He was physically abused, verbally abused,” Clay said. “To the point where when he got home, he didn't want to get out from under his bed.”

Clay recalls first meeting the young man.

“He was a very troubled man by virtue of what happened to him.”

So how did Gordon go from a fragile teenager to being shot, his body burned and dumped along with his younger brother, 14-year-old Larry Ordway? The boys’ mother said her sons were being recruited by a gang.

"My sons were trying to earn stripes in the blood gang, and they had to put in work. If they didn't put in the work, they were knocked off. And that's why they were knocked off, because they were scared to put in work,” Wren said.

“What we've heard about these two kids is absolutely tragic,” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

He said with a nearly $500,000 budget increase, he plans on getting more workers out and visible in the community.

“There are folks across our city that are also experiencing this urgency to connect with all of our kids and to make sure that we're wrapping around our kids who may need that additional support or guidance,” Abdur-Rahman said.

As for Gordon, Clay says he doesn't know if the alleged abuse the teen faced played a part in how his life ended, but thinks he may have felt vindicated if the system worked for him.

“Things could have been different, and it didn't have to end up this way for him. He could have had a great future, could have had an enjoyable life … I don't know … it’s so sad,” Clay said.

The lawsuit filed in 2014 was eventually dismissed because Clay could not get in contact with Wren, so he was never able to move forward with the case.

Funeral services for the brothers will be May 31 at Ratterman Family Funeral Home on Cane Run Road.

Visitation will be from 2 -3 p.m. and the funeral will be from 3-4 p.m.

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