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'Misidentified Four' To Get $1.5 Million From City For Wrongful Arrest

Louisville Metro Government will pay $1.5 million to settle a legal suit filed by a group of young men wrongfully arrested in summer 2014.

Craig Dean, Shaquazz Allen, Jerron Bush and Tyrone Booker Jr, dubbed the "Misidentified Four," were arrested on the front porch of a west Louisville home March 22 after being accused of first degree robbery.

On the same night the teens were arrested, a group of teens tore through downtown Louisville sparking dozens of police reports. The four young men, however, had decided to play video games instead of head downtown that night, Craig Dean told WFPL in an interview last year.

“We found out about it while we was in jail,” he said. “That’s how we learned about the Waterfront Park. We didn’t even know about it until two days after.”

A Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict the men on any charge. Had they been convicted they could have faced decades in prison.

Attorneys representing the young men have declined to comment prior to a scheduled press event set for Thursday morning.

Mike O'Connell, the Jefferson County Attorney, said in a statement released Tuesday evening that the arresting officers "failed to follow proper policy" when the arrest was made. He noted that the identification method the officers used was "appropriate and the officers were properly trained."

"The settlement takes into account the impact on these young men, including the more than 70 days they spent in custody, while also weighing the litigation risks to the city," O'Connell said in the statement. "We believe the officers acted with no wrongful intent, but proper policy wasn’t followed. So, this settlement is fair and just to all parties."

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad defended the initial arrest, dispelling claims of racial profiling.

“They fit the description that was given to us by the witness. It wasn’t a case of racial profiling," he said at the time. "It was a case of officers doing their job.”

But the young men disagreed.

Tyrone Booker previously said he believes racial profiling was the basis for their arrest.

“We will recover, but we won’t forget, it was a lesson learned about how the streets really are,” he said.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.