LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A cellphone video obtained by WAVE 3 News shows the moment when a teenager and an LMPD officer face off amid the Kentucky State Fair chaos Saturday night.
The melee forced an early shutdown of the fair.
The first cellphone video that circulated on social media shows the officer striking the juvenile. WAVE 3 News obtained a second video, then slowed it down, and it shows more of the incident, including the moment when the officer appears to push the same juvenile.
The officer in the video is now under an internal professional standards unit investigation.
Some on social media criticized the officer’s reaction and treatment of the juvenile. But others are now taking a closer look, stating the video actually shows the teenager grabbing and pulling the officer before the officer strikes him.
WAVE 3 News showed the slow-motion video to Safety and Security Expert Deshawn Johnson, a former Louisville Police Officer himself.
Johnson said the video isn’t conclusive but added, “It appears the young man is pulling the officer forward with a grip on his upper arm.” He stated the video also shows the officer striking the young man about the head or face.
“This may be in reaction to the officer being pulled,” Johnson said.
It’s unclear if the juvenile in the video was cited or arrested.
The teen, who WAVE 3 News will not identify because of his age, said on social media that he didn’t do anything wrong. His Facebook message is below:
“Gotta put this out there because I literally didn’t do anything to him but y’all know Louisville police don’t care if you do anything or not 😂 but yea he bumped into me on purpose then I got pushed and almost fell into the big fountain then he hit me then followed me around the fair until state troopers came.”
Another cellphone video shows an LMPD officer engaged with another male. They landed on the ground and the officer is seen punching the male. It’s not confirmed if that officer is the same as the one in the other video.
Kentucky State Police officials said they arrested seven juveniles and two adults during the ordeal. LMPD has not released how many, if any, arrests were made by its own officers.
Kentucky State Police Sgt. Josh Lawson told WAVE 3 News Tuesday that cellphone videos don’t always tell the full story. He confirmed a shell casing was found after reports of a single gunshot being fired into the air by a juvenile male.
Lawson said officers were initially responding to a possible active shooter.
Speaking in general terms and not specifically on the second video WAVE 3 News obtained, River City FOP President Nicolai Jilek said, “People need to know and understand that anytime someone aggressively lays hands on an officer, that officer has the right to defend himself and maintain order. Especially in any situation where there are significant threats to public safety. "
WAVE 3 News spoke to LMPD spokesperson Jesse Halladay about the video. She said the details will come out as part of the investigation, but that it would be premature and inappropriate to comment on the video at this time.
WAVE 3 News has reached out to the teen’s parent for comment, and will update this story when we receive a response.