LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – An injured Louisville Metro Police Officer told investigators he may not have activated his body camera to record the encounter where he was shot and injured, a transcript of the conversation obtained by the WHAS11 News i-team revealed. The officer’s reasoning could mean the case will be decided between the officer’s word against the word of the man arrested in the case.
It is the first time the public is getting an account from the officer, Kyle Carroll.
"I honestly cannot remember if I turned it on or not," Officer Kyle Carroll told Public Integrity Unit Sgt. Arnold Rivera on June 20, according to a transcript of the conversation obtained by the WHAS 11 News I-Team.
"It's all depending on how I feel, how safe the situation is, um, if I have time to turn it on, I always turn it on," the transcript recorded Carroll telling Sgt. Rivera when asked what the officer's normal procedure would be when dealing with a "dynamic situation."
"At this moment, when somebody's runnin', before I'm even out of my car, I'm not taking my eyes off them, no matter what, uh, my eyes are locked on the suspect a hundred and ten percent, so remembering to turn on my body camera I’m out my door sometimes, it totally goes out of my head," the transcript noted Carroll as saying, "I'm totally locked on him to prevent stuff like actually happening to me, from getting shot. "
Carroll told investigators he was on patrol the night of June 11 when he saw someone he thought was Jacquan Crowley, whom the officer described as "a suspect that I know was wanted."
Carroll, according to the transcript, suspected the man, who he thought was Crowley, would run because of a previous encounter when he said Crowley ran from him.
"When he'd seen me turn around he tried to take off runnin'," the transcript noted Carroll as saying, "I got out of my car and ran after him," he said.
Whether Carroll should have activated his body worn camera before or when the foot chase started will be determined by how the Public Integrity Unit evaluates Carroll's actions against the department's policy.
“Officers will activate their WVS (wearable video system) in recording mode, prior to their arrival on scene, for any call for service or engaging in any law enforcement activity or encounter,” the department’s standard operating procedure reads, “In extremely rare situations, an encounter may be sudden and unanticipated. If an officer is involved in a sudden and unanticipated incident where exigent safety concerns prevent the immediate activation of his/her WVS, he/she shall activate the WVS at the first opportunity, when it is safe to do so, in order to capture the immediate aftermath of the situation.”
According to the transcript, at no point during the interview, did Officer Carroll definitely say he activated his body camera.
Louisville Metro Police spokespersons did not respond to questions regarding whether Carroll’s actions as he recalled in the transcript could be interpreted as a violation of department policy. The department also did not respond to a specific question of whether any recording of the incident existed.
"I know our command always tells us you have to turn your camera on when it's safe to do so, uh, when it's a dispatched run I turn it on when I get dispatched, uh, but jumping out on somebody like this and then runnin', you know, I was supposed to do it as I'm runnin', but I honestly cannot remember if I turned it on or not," the transcript read.
"You don't remember," Rivera asked.
"I do not remember."
Carroll was asked if his police cruiser was equipped with a camera.
"My lights weren't on, so my camera wouldn't have come on," Carroll replied according to the transcript.
Earlier in the interview, Carroll described the moment he caught up with the person he was chasing. He said the person awkwardly jumped a fence allowing Carroll to catch up. It's the moment Carroll said the situation nearly turned deadly.
"I grabbed his right arm it would have been, and he said, 'No, no, no, please don't, don't, don't, and shot me," the transcript said Carroll recalled.
"He turned towards me and put it to my face, you know, put the gun to my face kind of as if he was punching me, but it was slow enough to where you know I knew somethin' was there and I could see the gun, and like I said I grabbed it and I kind of got his hand , kind of got the gun, I didn’t get a real clean grab on it, and I tried to push it down and jump out of the way at the same time, but he shot me and it hit me in the chest."
Carroll said he tried to hold onto the person, but couldn't and fell to the ground.
"He took about four or five steps running, he stopped, turned around toward me and started shooting again down at me and the ground, I could see him shooting back at me," the transcript said Carroll recalled. Carroll said none of those shots hit him, but described the initial wound as "the worst pain I ever felt in my life."
He said the bullet penetrated his vest.
"I started to panic," he said, "I looked at my hand and seen the blood all over my hand so I thought I was dying."
Carroll told Rivera he was certain who had shot him, the transcript said. Carroll said he jumped in the car of his beat partner who arrived after the shooting and the pair raced to the hospital.
"I told him Jacquan Crowley and he knew exactly who I was talking about, we had both dealt him multiple times, um, and I told him to say it on the radio but everybody was trying to get on the radio and talk and i said, 'You know lemme tell it, I need to talk, I need to talk, lemme talk, so I talked on the radio, and I told everybody on the radio that you know, Jacquan Crowley shot me, he shot me, his stuff is in my notebook, you know, all his information, I have his social and his date of birth and last known address and everything in my notebook.'"
"If I was going to die I wanted to get his name out there," the transcript noted.
"Is there any doubt in your mind who shot you that night," Rivera asked.
"No," Carroll replied.
"You're absolutely certain it was Jacquan Crowley?"