Woman sues LMPD after officer allegedly gropes her

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A woman accusing a Louisville Metro Police officer of inappropriately touching her is suing the department. 

Attorney Shaun Wimberly Sr. said Kali Coates was driving in West Louisville on Virginia Avenue in January 2019, when Officer Tyler Gelnett along with other metro policemen pulled her over for a bench warrant. 

In police bodycam video the officers are heard telling Coates and the passengers in the vehicle they smell marijuana. 

According to the lawsuit, Gelnett ordered Coates to step out of the vehicle and to hand over her license before he frisked her.

The suit claims Gelnett inappropriately placed his hands in between her legs. Several seconds later, another LMPD officer allegedly told Gelnett to bring Coates to the back of her vehicle.

“[Gelnett] begins to search from [Coates’s] ankles and went all the way up to her vagina to the point where it was so much force that she jumped and became very emotional,” Wimberly said. 

The lawsuit states another officer “intervened and admonished him.” 

In police bodycam video the unnamed officer who stepped in told Coates and the passenger that Gelnett “had no idea what he was doing,” and admitted that Gelnett was a new officer in training. 

“That has caused her to have some serious mental issues on being violated like that,” Wimberly said. 

According to Wimberly, Coates filed a complaint reaching out to LMPD after the traffic stop but has not heard back since.

“This is an incident that probably should have never happened in the first place,” Wimberly said. 

According to the body cam video, the passenger in the vehicle admitted to the police officers he and Coates were smoking earlier that day. Wimberly said Coates was let go without a citation.

The woman is now seeking a jury trial with monetary damages. 

A spokesperson for LMPD said the department does not comment on pending litigations, but confirmed Gelnett is still working for the department. 

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