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Former Cop In Kentucky Pleads Guilty To Using Excessive Force, Shooting Person With Pepperball

Katie R. Crews, 29, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, pleaded guilty in federal court to violating an individual’s rights by using excessive force while acting as a police officer.

Katie R. Crews, 29, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, pleaded guilty in federal court to violating an individual’s rights by using excessive force while acting as a police officer.

During the plea hearing, Crews admitted that on or about June 1, 2020, while acting as a police officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department, she shot an individual with a pepperball, while the individual was standing on private property and not posing a threat to the defendant or others.

Crews pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count for using unreasonable force. Crews’s guilty plea carries a maximum term of imprisonment of one year, and a maximum fine of $100,000. As part of the plea agreement, Crews is no longer an officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department and has forfeited her Kentucky law enforcement certification.

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“Police officers who abuse their authority and act outside the bounds of the law will be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute any officer who violates the public trust by using excessive force without cause.”

“I appreciate the outstanding investigatory work conducted by the FBI’s Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “We will continue to work diligently with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to ensure the citizens of the Western District are protected from the use of excessive force without cause by officials sworn to protect them.”

“Police officers take an oath to protect and serve our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen for the FBI Louisville Field Office. “This case serves as an example that the FBI is committed to identifying and investigating those law enforcement officers who choose to abandon their oath and violate the public’s civil rights.”  

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With her guilty plea and pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant will also forfeit her right to seek future employment in law enforcement. A sentencing date has been set for Jan. 30, 2023.

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