Community activists respond to LMPD traffic arrest caught on video

Community activists support man punched by LMPD officer during arrest

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The day cell phone video of an arrest during a traffic stop appeared on social media, community activists were quick to respond.

“You are an officer,” Neal Robertson, a community activist, said. “We pay you to take care of us.”

“If you’re going to be down here and police black individuals, you need to know black individuals,” local barber shop owner, J. Alexander, added.

About 25 people gathered Monday at the spot of the arrest, a gas station in front of the Kroger on 26th Street and Broadway.

The incident and struggle to detain the suspect, Jarrus Ransom, was caught on camera. It shows the suspect being taken down from his car, then an officer punching him while trying to get him in handcuffs.

The police report gives another side of the story cell phones didn’t see. The report includes assertions that Ransom lunged at an officer, ramming into his shoulder before he was in handcuffs.

“At what point do you guys think about what led to the officer’s actions?” WAVE 3 News asked the activists.

“Irrelevant, irrelevant,” Roberston responded.

According to the police report, Ransom lunged after the officer poured soda out of a can onto the pavement and pills fell out.

Police said Ransom ended up back in his car. The cell phone video recorded by bystanders in the parking lot picks up from there.

The Fraternal Order of Police President, Nicolai Jilek, said just based on what he saw in the video -- the officer punching Ransom before he was in handcuffs -- appeared to be because Ransom had his hand by his waist, a common place for a weapon.

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"People say, wow, what took place?" Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. "Now, it could be the exact correct thing that a police officer has been trained to do, and maybe it's not."

He stressed that’s why an internal investigation is now taking place.

Ransom’s criminal history shows he’s been in and out of Louisville’s jail 14 times since 2004 -- almost once a year.

In 2017, one of those charges was resisting arrest. Other past charges include trafficking in a controlled substance, assault, wanton endangerment and fleeing and evading police.

“Would you like for the body camera video to be released?” WAVE 3 News asked Erica Hector, a community member at the rally.

“If he did what ya’ll said he did, we all gotta pass,” she said. “If you disobeyed your mom growing up, you gotta pass because under God we all should be ashamed, not just him. He’s trying to get his life right. That’s all he’s trying to do.”

Ransom is charged with possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest and excessive window tint.

LMPD said by state law, they cannot release body camera video pertaining to an administrative, internal investigation conducted by the Professional Standards Unit. That is different than a potential criminal investigation, such as an officer involved shooting, conducted by the Public Integrity Unit.

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