‘I was defenseless.’ | Louisville police officer under investigation after video appears to show him repeatedly punching man during arrest

Denorver Garrett had a swollen eye and his knee wrapped up when he spoke out on Monday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville Metro Police officer is under investigation after video showed him repeatedly punching a protester during an arrest Sunday.

The video captured and shared on Facebook shows officers arresting 29-year-old Denorver Garrett. According to Garrett’s arrest citation, officers were alerted that a man with a large wooden cross was “causing a disturbance to the public and causing a safety issue to motorists” on W. Jefferson at 6th Street.

The citation says Garrett was told to put his hands behind his back as he was placed in handcuffs. The video shows an officer putting handcuffs around Garrett’s wrists for about 20 seconds. In the citation, officers said he “resisted the officers movements to put his hands together close enough” for the officer to get the cuffs on.

“He was given loud verbal commands to stop resisting and place his hands behind his back,” the citations says.

“They were like trying to pull me, and pull me, and pull me,” Garrett said on Monday after he was released from jail. His eye was swollen and his right knee was wrapped up during the press conference. 

He demonstrated how his broad shoulders made it difficult for him to put his hands close together behind his back. 

“I was defenseless. I told them I’m not resisting arrest, I’m not resisting arrest,” he said Monday. 

In the video, an officer can be heard saying, “Stop flexing on me,” and Garrett responds, “I’m not flexing.”

An officer can also be heard saying “Put your hands together now” as two officers start pulling his arms back. Officers then force Garrett to the ground. The video shows an unidentified officer punching Garrett four different times, breaking his glasses. 

The citation says Garrett “continued to disobey officers’ instructions” and one officer “delivered 2-3 closed hand strikes to the subject’s face while giving commands to place his hands behind his back.”

Warning: Video contains graphic content

Garrett was evaluated by EMS following the incident.

Chief Erika Shields released a statement Sunday night saying the incident “raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”

Shields said she expects officers to handle these incidents professionally and consistently with their training every time.

She said has directed a Professional Standards investigation into the officer’s conduct as well as the on-scene supervisor.

David Mour, Garrett’s attorney said he wants to see the officer who threw the punches punished. 

“This officer needs to be immediately suspended without pay, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. This officer needs to be charged with assault on this young man,” Mour said. “You know there is no way this is an appropriate or proper use of force.”

The video also caught the eye of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who called photos of Garrett’s injuries “concerning” during a press conference on Monday.

“We need to look at [the video], we need to analyze it, if it’s wrong we need to admit it and we need to learn from it,” Beshear said. 

Garrett was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and was released Monday. 

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