A Kentucky woman alleges she was assaulted by police officers who dropped her on the ground and broke her arm while trying to detain her on suspicion of public intoxication, according to a federal lawsuit.
Alisha Daugherty has sued the city of Somerset, the Somerset Police Department, Somerset Police Chief William Hunt, Somerset police officers James Mayfield, Elgin Pettus, Greg Guffey and Austin Garner and Somerset Mayor Alan Keck.
Daugherty alleged in her lawsuit that officers violated her Fourth and 14th Amendment rights. She said they used excessive force on her and then showed “reckless indifference” to her medical needs, according to her lawsuit.
The lawsuit stems from a Nov. 6, 2020, incident in which Daugherty was arrested and charged with public intoxication, according to court records. She was a passenger in a vehicle sitting outside a Verizon store in Pulaski County when Somerset police officers pulled up behind the vehicle, according to her lawsuit.
The officers “picked (Daugherty) up and dropped her onto the pavement, wrenched (Daugherty’s) arm behind her back, being recklessly indifferent to her medical needs, and causing a spiral fracture to her upper arm,” Daugherty’s attorney wrote in the lawsuit.
Officers didn’t provide her any medical attention after the incident, according to the lawsuit. They instead took her to the Pulaski County Detention Center and put her in a jail cell “for an extended period of time.”
Somerset City Attorney John Adams said the defendants were preparing their defense collectively.
“At this point in our review of the matter, there does not appear to be any violation of proper policing standards by Somerset Police Department or its officers,” Adams said in a statement to the Herald-Leader. “Once the evidence is heard, we believe the trier of fact and the public will agree that Somerset’s officers acted appropriately.”
Adams additionally said the Somerset Police Department “thoroughly reviewed” Daugherty’s claims and didn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing on the officers’ part.
“Had any wrongdoing been found, it would have been followed up with an investigation,” Adams said. “There are no disciplinary actions against any Somerset officer now and none are foreseen in the future.”
Daugherty, 38, “had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from her person,” Mayfield wrote in an arrest citation. She also had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and refused a preliminary breath test, he wrote. The arrest citation indicated police had been called for a report of an intoxicated individual.
Daugherty “was a danger to herself and others if left unattended,” Mayfield wrote. Officers didn’t note in the arrest citation any methods they used to apprehend Daugherty. Daugherty was later convicted on the public intoxication charge, according to court records.
Daugherty’s attorney wrote in the lawsuit that she didn’t do anything to provoke the officers who dropped her to the ground.
Daugherty has accused police of committing battery and gross negligence or misconduct in addition to her accusations of excessive force and reckless indifference, according to the lawsuit.
Daugherty also said she has claims against the city and the mayor because they allowed the police department to use “outrageous and excessive force’ against her, according to the lawsuit.
Daugherty “sustained severe and permanent injury” and has endured pain, suffering, disability, income loss, mental anguish, humiliation and other injuries, her attorney wrote in the lawsuit.
Daugherty has asked for damages from those she’s suing “in an amount sufficient to deter the described wrongful conduct in the future.”
Daugherty initially filed the lawsuit in Pulaski County court, but the city moved it to federal court last week.
Another federal lawsuit was filed against sheriff’s deputies in Franklin County earlier this year, alleging a deputy yanked women out of the back of a car and threw them to the ground after a chase. The women were not driving during the chase.