LMPD officer sued in deadly crash had past legal issues
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A lawsuit filed by the family of a 13-year-old boy claims a Louisville Metro Police officer displayed gross negligence with malicious and wanton behavior.
Ki’Anthony Tyus was killed in a December 2018 police chase and crash. Tyus was a passenger in a stolen SUV.
The lawsuit, filed in January, comes with several new claims about the case.
One claim was that the officer who’s named in the suit, Roger Marcum, slammed his cruiser into the stolen SUV -- causing the violent crash and ultimately Tyus’s death.
Also, WAVE 3 News was originally told the driver was an adult. But those close to the case say that was a mistake, and all five in the vehicle were juveniles at the time.
At age 9, Tyus was shot while playing basketball in a drive-by. He became an advocate against violence.
Tyus’s family said he was getting a ride to the store from a Shelby Park home only minutes before the chase began.
His family believes the boy likely didn’t know it was a stolen car.
The suit claims Marcum ignored the LMPD chase policy to pull over a stolen SUV.
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The policy, one of the strictest nationwide, was changed in 2012 to better protect the public -- allowing officers to chase suspects only if a violent felony was committed or if the immediate apprehension outweighed the dangers of the pursuit.
The lawsuit also claims Marcum did not attempt to initiate a traffic stop on Oak Street before the SUV got on I- 65.
After other units arrived, LMPD said two cruisers hit the concrete barrier because the SUV’s driver made an invasive turn. The lawsuit claims the SUV was in the left lane. It claims other officers were willing to let the SUV go, but Marcum continued to chase the SUV to Fern Valley Road.
According to the lawsuit, another officer who had been following the SUV with Marcum dropped out of the chase after that officer realized the chase had caused another driver to wreck. The suit claims Marcum kept going, eventually slamming his cruiser into the SUV causing the deadly crash.
There has been no comment from the officer’s attorney.
Marcum retired from the force in 2009, but was rehired by LMPD in 2017.
WAVE 3 News learned Marcum was also on trial in 1999, after his girlfriend accused him of fondling her young daughter. He went to trial, but he was acquitted on all charges.
Sam Aguiar, who represents the Tyus family, gave WAVE 3 News the following statement:
“Ki’Anthony was a courageous young advocate in the community who will be greatly missed. At this point, the case is still very preliminary and we have lots of unanswered questions. We don’t know why these officers made the decision to break policy and chase the SUV. They had just been specifically told that the SUV had been let go because there were no felony charges. There was a very, very significant amount of damage to Officer Marcum’s cruiser and there is conflicting information about the source of it. We are hopeful that discovery in the case will give more clarity on it soon. What we do know is that lots of bad decisions resulted in a very preventable crash. Nobody wins in a high speed pursuit. The policies are important and they are in place to prevent tragedies like this from happening. Officer Marcum clearly did not follow these policies.”
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