Cahoots owner, attorney cry foul over raid

Published: Sep. 12, 2014 at 3:04 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2014 at 3:04 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville bar is raided, people inside are frisked and officers are asking questions. It's a scene that played out in the Highlands and was viewed by thousands after the video was posted online Wednesday.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows Louisville Metro Police working with Alcohol Beverage Control officers at the raid at Cahoots on Bardstown Road.

It also shows surprised customers wondering what was happening.

The bar's owner and her attorney said they were just cited Thursday night by Alcohol Beverage Control for having a 19-year-old on property and for finding one person with drugs on them Wednesday morning. Attorney Gregory Butrum says normally citations are issued when officers are there. They believe the late citation may be retaliation because the video was posted.

The man recording the video is heard saying to officers, "I'm allowed to record this."

He started rolling around 2 a.m. during the surprise search of customers at the popular bar.

An officer working for ABC or Louisville Metro is seen saying to customers, "Now a show of hands, who's got something on them they shouldn't have? No one?"

Cahoots owner said there was no warrant and that she had no idea what was happening as the front and back doors were locked. She then said about 40 people were subjected to a random search.

One customer is heard on the video saying of the search, "Wow, is this for real?"

One employee said he was scared and when someone in the crowd asked about their rights a man in a police T-shirt said, "You have the right to shut up."

Louisville Metro Police said they were assisting Alcohol Beverage Control officers in a licensing issue.

"It kind of happened out of nowhere," said Kameran Kerelaj who works nearby. "It was just a lot of police cars and they just kind of raided the place."

Some neighbors said they've heard of problems at the bar, but Butram says it didn't require a shakedown.

"It looks like police gone wild," he said, adding police have every right to ask if anyone has anything on them, but he said they crossed the line.

"They're searching them, they're not asking for permission, they're not letting them leave," he said of the customers.

"It all looks highly inappropriate to me, quite frankly it scares me to think that our police would be so poorly trained they can't tell appropriate conduct from inappropriate conduct, or what is legal verses not legal," Butrum said.

Kate Miller, Louisville ACLU Program Director Kate Miller said while customers had the right to ask for a lawyer or ask if they could leave, they may have been afraid to.

"I know if I were there, I would have been frightened," she said, "I would have been confused about what to do."

None of our calls to Alcohol Beverage Control were returned. The bar's attorney says the 19-year-old girl who was on property has an entertainment exemption because she performs as the Hula Girl.

You can learn more about your legal rights on the ACLU's website.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.