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State Rep. Attica Scott Sues LMPD Officers For Protest Arrest

Rep. Attica Scott and Shameka Parrish-Wright emerge after having their charges dropped for protest-related arrests in September.
Rep. Attica Scott and Shameka Parrish-Wright emerge after having their charges dropped for protest-related arrests in September.

State Rep. Attica Scott is suing several Louisville Metro Police officers. 

She’s joined in the suit by her daughter, Ashanti Scott, and Louisville activist and mayoral candidate Shameka Parrish-Wright.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, they said two officers violated their constitutional rights when they arrested them in late September during racial justice demonstrations, a day after the state Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced no officers would be charged for killing Breonna Taylor. 

They allege the two officers, Alex Eades and an unnamed officer listed as “John Doe,”  also falsely accused them of crimes and caused emotional distress.

The Scotts and Parrish-Wright said they were seeking sanctuary at the nearby First Unitarian Church shortly before the mayor’s 9 p.m. curfew. Officers arrested them on charges of first-degree rioting, unlawful assembly and failure to disperse

LMPD has said officers showed up to arrest people who had broken a window and tossed a flare into the Louisville Free Public Library branch on York Street that September night. In an arrest report, LMPD stated that Scott was part of the group that damaged the library and disobeyed dispersal orders. 

Scott’s own livestream of the events shows her on a different side of the library than where the window was smashed.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell dismissed the felony rioting charges a few weeks later. He also dropped charges against 17 other demonstrators who had been arrested. 

A press release announcing the lawsuit labeled the charges as “meritless.” 

“I’m joining this lawsuit against LMPD because we deserve to live free from over-policing, racial profiling, and police violence,” Rep. Scott said in the release. “My daughter and I were literally walking while Black when police targeted us for arrest prior to the unnecessary curfew that had been implemented — a curfew that was inequitably enforced and only used against those of us exercising our first amendment rights.” 

She said it “would be an insult to the people of Louisville” if she didn’t hold police accountable. 

“Our arrest has caused personal, emotional and academic damage for me,” Ashanti Scott, a student at the University of Louisville, said in the release.

Parrish-Wright asserts they were not the only demonstrators who were unlawfully arrested.

“We want people to understand that protest comes in many forms. Justice comes in many forms," she said. "And those that are to protect the law, when they break the law, they need to be held accountable.”

Former Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder is also listed as a defendant in the suit.

LMPD says it does not comment on pending litigation.

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