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Officers Accused Of Failing To Help Domestic Violence Victim Before Murder

 Two Louisville Metro Police Department cruisers are parked under an overpass in Louisville.
J. Tyler Franklin
Louisville Public Media
Two Louisville Metro Police Department cruisers are parked under an overpass in Louisville.

Two Louisville Metro Police officers have been charged with misdemeanors for failing to provide “proper assistance” to a domestic violence victim who was later murdered, according to a statement from the department.

Officer Kierstin Holman and Cody Luckett were dispatched after Amanda Berry called 911 on December 26, 2019. On the scene, Berry said that her boyfriend William Sloss had hit her, refused to let her leave the house, chased her down the street and took her phone.

Holman and Luckett did not complete a JC-3 report, which documents domestic violence incidents, and did not arrest Sloss, according to the summons.

Berry was found dead a month later, and Sloss was charged with murder domestic violence and abuse of a corpse.

According to Sloss’ arrest citation, witnesses said they had seen him violently beat the victim multiple times. When neighbors asked him why they hadn’t seen Berry in a while, he said, “I got rid of her.” After she was reported missing by her family, Berry’s body was found in a plastic storage bin Sloss hid in the back of his basement.

It’s unclear from LMPD’s statement how Holman and Luckett failed to provide proper assistance to Berry.Holman and Luckett’s role in the situation came to light when a supervisor was reviewing the case for the city’s domestic violence prevention coordinating council’s fatality review committee, according to the LMPD statement.

The fatality review committee brings together stakeholders from across the system to review each domestic violence homicide and see what lessons can be learned to help prevent future deaths.

Both officers were put on administrative reassignment since the public integrity unit investigation began in early March. They were both served with misdemeanor summons on Friday. The summons were not immediately provided from the clerk’s office.

The case will now be given to the professional standards unit to see if any LMPD policies were violated.

Holman is one of five officers, along with a unit commander and police chief Steve Conrad, named in a lawsuitstemming from a controversial traffic stop in August 2018. It was Holman’s body camera footage that went viral, leading to the lawsuit and an internal affairs investigation.

This announcement comes at the end of a newsworthy week for LMPD. After national outcry over the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, Conrad announced Thursday that he would be retiring at the end of June.

This post has been updated.


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