Louisville, KY — The Louisville Metro Police are in the spotlight this week after a citizen’s video was uploaded to social media showing an officer pound a man’s face in with his taser, as his fellow officers hold him down during an arrest.
According to police, they were responding to an alleged fight outside the Nowhere Bar in Louisville early Sunday morning when they encountered Matthew Murphy. Police claim Murphy attacked them and they had no other choice but to engage. The video does not show this attack.
What the video does show, however, is Murphy on the ground, entirely submissive and not resisting when he is smacked in the face with the officer’s taser as the other officers hold him down.
As the video shows, Murphy is on the ground as one of the four officers on top of him aims his taser into the crowd of bystanders. Shortly after pointing his taser at the crowd, the officer then wallops Murphy with it, causing the crowd to erupt in outrage.
At no time did Murphy appear to be resisting in the video. He merely appears to lift up his head just before being hit.
As WDRB reports:
The video is being widely shared on social media, with many people claiming the officer used excessive force on Murphy after he had already been handcuffed and was no longer resisting. It is difficult to tell in the video when Murphy was handcuffed.
The video does not show the beginning of Murphy’s encounter with police.
The arrest citation says off-duty police were flagged down because of a fight and Murphy attacked officers, “striking, kicking, squeezing” and “causing great alarm.” A detective was “forced” to fight Murphy “in the middle of the street” because of his actions, according to the arrest report.
Murphy also grabbed a detective in the groin and “twisted causing pain,” according to the report.
Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for LMPD, said police are aware of the video and it is under administrative review. Mitchell declined to provide any other information.
Sunday morning Murphy was arrested and charged with numerous charges all stemming from his police interaction. He is facing two counts of assaulting police, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
The second assault charge comes after Murphy was accused of spitting on an officer while being transported to the hospital.
Murphy is currently still in jail being held on a massive $25,000 bond.
If Murphy is guilty of the crimes of which he stands accused, he most assuredly deserves to be held accountable. Unfortunately, however, even if he is proven to be guilty, because the officers held him down while another hit him in the face with a taser while he did not appear to resist—which was captured on video—the taxpayers of Louisville will also likely be held accountable.
The LMPD is no stranger to controversy, or framing innocent men for crimes they did not commit. As TFTP reported earlier this year, three innocent men were released from prison after serving a combined total of more than 50 years for crimes they did not commit, and they all have one thing in common—a homicide detective within the LMPD.
Edwin Chandler spent nine years in prison after he was convicted of shooting and killing store clerk Brenda Whitfield during a robbery in 1993. However, he was exonerated in 2010 after it was determined that another man, who was already serving 20 years on an unrelated assault charge, was responsible for the robbery and the murder.
Chandler sued the city of Louisville and the police department and received $8.5 million in damages. However, the officer who he blames for forcing him to give a false confession faced no repercussions.