VIDEO | Kentucky State Police Trooper Punches, Kicks Handcuffed Mentally Ill Man…

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Kentucky State Police troop­er beat a hand­cuffed schiz­o­phrenic man after arrest­ing him in March 2019, slam­ming his head against a wall, and punch­ing and kick­ing him repeat­ed­ly before throw­ing him to the ground, accord­ing to video from a jail record­ing sys­tem. The footage sheds light on a Bowling Green case that left the beat­en man, Timothy “Michael” Heston, in jail for 11 months because state police with­held the video, a new law­suit alleges.

The law­suit claims State Police Trooper Aaron Tucker “attacked Michael, who is bi-racial, with­out provo­ca­tion, warn­ing or jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and then fab­ri­cat­ed a report about the assault.” Heston spent near­ly a year in jail; police failed to pro­vide the video to pros­e­cu­tors, defense attor­neys, or the judge, accord­ing to the suit. The charges were lat­er dis­missed. The law­suit, filed in March in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, lists Tucker, oth­er unnamed State Police troop­ers, Warren County Regional Jail, and two jail employ­ees as plain­tiffs.

The suit also claims jail employ­ees placed Heston in a restraint chair and repeat­ed­ly tased him for no rea­son. Two jail employ­ees, Melissa Causey and Andrew Cooper, are accused of “tas­ing a restrained, men­tal­ly-ill indi­vid­ual … out of dis­like for his demeanor.”. The law­suit includes a pic­ture of Heston being tased while he is in a restraint chair. The jail’s war­den didn’t imme­di­ate­ly respond to a request for com­ment. Tucker wrote in a cita­tion that he arrest­ed Heston after observ­ing him walk­ing on the side of Interstate 65 in Warren County; Heston alleged­ly threat­ened the troop­er when he stopped to talk to him, accord­ing to court records.

When the troop­er took Heston to jail on charges of ter­ror­is­tic threat­en­ing and resist­ing arrest, among oth­er charges, Heston “tensed up” when he was tak­en out of the cruis­er, resist­ed, attempt­ed to spit on Tucker and “used his head to hit me,” accord­ing to the arrest cita­tion. “After the alter­ca­tion had ensued, I was able to regain con­trol of the above offend­er by plac­ing him on the ground,” Tucker wrote. But in the video, obtained by WDRB News, Tucker gets Heston out of the cruis­er and, after walk­ing him to the door, Heston seems to weave or stum­ble and the troop­er punch­es him in the face, pins him against the wall and hits him with his fist sev­er­al more times. Tucker also knees the defen­dant in the face and chest sev­er­al times before tak­ing him to the ground, the video shows. Heston was hand­cuffed behind his back.

There is no sound in the video and it does not appear Heston was resist­ing. It is unclear if Heston spits on or toward the troop­er. “Michael was def­i­nite­ly not the insti­ga­tor nor was he able to phys­i­cal­ly pro­tect him­self from the phys­i­cal assault Officer Tucker inflict­ed upon him,” said attor­ney Amy Staples, who rep­re­sents Heston along with Elliot Slosar. The video “took my breath away.” She said Heston did not spit at the troop­er but, regard­less, “I don’t think any­thing jus­ti­fies phys­i­cal­ly attack­ing a men­tal­ly ill, hand­cuffed, restrained indi­vid­ual.”

State Police con­duct­ed an inter­nal inves­ti­ga­tion of the case and fired Tucker, accord­ing to the law­suit. KSP con­firmed that Tucker is no longer employed but did not com­ment on the law­suit. The charges against Heston, 27, were even­tu­al­ly dis­missed, but not until after he had been indict­ed. The law­suit claims State Police ini­tial­ly with­held the video from the pros­e­cu­tion, the defense, and the judge, caus­ing him to remain in jail until the case was ulti­mate­ly dis­missed. Heston was “active­ly psy­chot­ic” while in jail so was unable to par­tic­i­pate in his defense, Staples said.

Heston’s defense attor­ney found the video after receiv­ing dis­cov­ery mate­r­i­al from the jail in prepa­ra­tion for tri­al. Slosar, who has sev­er­al pend­ing law­suits against State Police, said: “at this time no form of con­duct these troop­ers com­mit is shock­ing.” Heston, who was diag­nosed with schiz­o­phre­nia when he was 20, was walk­ing along I‑65 in Bowling Green on March 17, 2019, attempt­ing to get to Tennessee for his son’s birth­day, accord­ing to the lawsuit.courtesy of :https://​www​.wdrb​.com/​i​n​-​d​e​p​t​h​/​v​i​d​e​o​-​k​e​n​t​u​c​k​y​-​s​t​a​t​e​-​p​o​l​i​c​e​-​t​r​o​o​p​e​r​-​p​u​n​c​h​e​s​-​k​i​c​k​s​-​h​a​n​d​c​u​f​f​e​d​-​m​e​n​t​a​l​l​y​-​i​l​l​-​m​a​n​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​_​f​0​5​e​d​5​6​6​-​9​089 – 11ea-81b1-6f601210b02c.html#spark_wn=1

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