Protester files suit accusing Louisville officer of battery

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man who says he was repeatedly punched by a police officer while protesting police brutality has filed a lawsuit.

Denorver “Dee” Garrett, 29, filed suit Tuesday accusing Louisville Metro Police Officer Aaron Ambers of civil battery, unlawful imprisonment and intentionally inflicting emotional distress during the April 18 arrest, the Courier Journal reported.

Several Louisville police officers were seen in a Facebook video of Garrett being arrested near Jefferson Square Park, the site of numerous demonstrations over police brutality and the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed by Louisville police in March 2020.

In the video, an officer attempting to handcuff Garrett tells him several times to “stop flexing.” The officer then yells “stop” once more before multiple officers force Garrett to the ground. The initial officer then punches Garrett’s head at least three times while onlookers scream at officers to stop. It appeared Garrett’s glasses were broken in the struggle.

The newspaper’s request for comment from the police department was not immediately returned.

The agency hasn’t named officers involved in the arrest. It says an internal investigation into the arresting officer and an on-site supervisor are ongoing.

Garrett has pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

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