Jefferson woman indicted for unreasonable force during Louisville protest

A federal grand jury has handed down an indictment against a Jeffersonville woman for allegedly using unreasonable force during a racial justice protest in her capacity as a former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer.

Katie R. Crews, 29, was indicted Wednesday after spraying a pepper ball gun at M.M. on June 1, 2020, court documents say. She faces a charge of unreasonable force and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, M.M. was, at the time, standing on private property and not posing a threat to the defendant or others.

The incident took place near David McAtee’s barbeque restaurant in Louisville during racial justice protests in the city following the death of Breonna Taylor, the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville reported. 

Crews had been ordered to help disperse a crowd gathered near the restaurant. She then fired pepper balls at M.M. because M.M. refused to go back inside the establishment, according to WAVE 3 News of Louisville.

McAtee was standing in the restaurant’s doorway with M.M. when she was struck several times with pepper balls, according to the News and Tribune. Investigators said McAtee later stepped outside the restaurant and fired a gun twice.

McAtee was shot by a National Guardsman and died from his injuries.

Civil rights trial attorney Anita Channapati and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda E. Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky are prosecuting the case.

The FBI and the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit jointly investigated the case through the Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force.

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