A Kentucky man has filed a lawsuit against the LaRue County Sheriff’s Department, claiming he was racially profiled when he was pulled out of his car, thrown to the ground and detained for nearly an hour.
38-year-old Anthony Freeman from Elizabethtown, says the incident took place on July 31, 2021, at around 9:30 p.m., when he was stopped by Sheriff Russell McCoy, who was later joined by two other men alleging to be detectives.
In the lawsuit Freeman says he was stopped for “illegal headlights.” The lawsuit says McCoy ran his license and registration that he was “done with him but didn’t know what the other detectives (who had showed up at the scene) wanted to do.” The sheriff left, and the two insisted on searching the car.
According to The Louisville Courier-Journal, Freeman’s lawsuit says he asked the men what probable cause they had and asked about if they had a search warrant. The men pulled Freeman from his car and threw him to the ground, he claims, while he was on the phone with his attorney, Teddy Gordon, and Gordon’s wife.
WDRB reported that the lawsuit claims “the physical assault and verbal abuse subsided when the two detectives realized (Freeman’s) attorney was on the phone and hearing everything going on.”
“If they hadn’t heard the voice on the phone,” Freeman told The Courier-Journal Thursday, “they would have killed me that night.”
The lawsuit says the officers prompted a police K-9 to encircle his vehicle 12 times, then commanded the dog to sit by the car’s door, which they said justified their probable cause to search it. Both detectives didn’t find anything during the search and Freeman was allowed to leave after 45 minutes.
“I just feel different,” he told the newspaper. “It’s hard for me to be around police, or to even see them. And it’s not supposed to be like that — they’re here to protect and serve, not to be feared.”