Katie R. Crews, 29, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, pleaded guilty in federal court to violating an individual’s rights by using excessive force while serving as a police officer.
During her plea hearing, Crews admitted that on or about June 1, 2020, while acting as a Louisville Metro Police Department officer, she shot an individual with a tear gas ball, when the individual is standing on private property and does not pose a threat to the defendant or others.
The crew pleaded guilty to the one misdemeanor of using unreasonable force. Crew offenses carry a maximum prison sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $100,000. As part of the plea agreement, Crews was no longer an employee of the Louisville Metro Police Department and lost his Kentucky law enforcement certification.
“Police officers who abuse their authority and act outside the bounds of the law will be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute any officer who violates the public trust by using excessive force without cause.”
“I appreciate the outstanding investigatory work conducted by the FBI’s Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “We will continue to work diligently with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure the citizens of the Western District are protected from the use of excessive force without cause by officials sworn to protect them.”
“Police officers take an oath to protect and serve our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen for the FBI Louisville Field Office. “This case serves as an example that the FBI is committed to identifying and investigating those law enforcement officers who choose to abandon their oath and violate the public’s civil rights.”
With his guilty plea and under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant will also lose the right to seek future employment in law enforcement. A sentencing date has been set for January 30, 2023.
Assistant Attorney General Clarke, United States Attorney Bennett, and Special Agent in charge Cohen made the announcement.
The FBI and the Louisville Metro PoliceDepartment’s Public Integrity Unit have jointly investigated the incident through the Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda E. Gregory for the Western District of Kentucky and Civil Rights Attorney Anita Channapati of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.