Daughters discuss lawsuit after father shot and killed by police

Darnell Wicker's daughters discuss lawsuit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A federal lawsuit has been filed against Metro Police and Metro Government. It comes after two officers shot and killed Darnell Wicker on August 8 at the Broadleaf Apartment complex near Crums Lane.

Police said he was holding a tree saw when officers fired. Wicker's daughters, who filed the suit, are talking for the first time since leaving court, saying more should have been done to de-escalate the situation.

Allegations in a federal lawsuit claims LMPD officers failed to investigate the situation regarding a domestic disturbance case and instead rushed at Darnell Wicker on August 8 with an intent to kill.

Danielle Cleveland, one of Wicker’s daughters asks, “Why did the officers feel they needed to come to a real quick conclusion, just based on whatever information that they knew?” 

Wicker was involved in a domestic disturbance in the early morning hours of August 8. Officer Brian Smith was first on the scene. The body camera footage shows him talking to the 911 caller. The woman said Wicker kicked down her door and had a butcher knife along with the tree saw.

Cleveland adds, “They knew there was an officer already there, so why not assess the situation before coming to a conclusion.”

Soon after Smith’s arrival, Officers Beau Gadegaard and Taylor Banks got to the scene. Wicker walked outside. He was shot and killed while holding a tree saw. 

Dominique Wicker, Darnell Wicker's Daughter says, “He would've tried to probably handle the situation peacefully, once again he was working and he was probably trying to put some of the things up, but those were one of the questions that were not asked.”

The sisters said their father never lunged or showed aggression to officers and deserved more understanding of the situation before being shot multiple times.

Cleveland said this lawsuit is necessary in demanding answers, “We want justice for my father. He's not even here to be able to express himself in any way. We feel like this is a way for him to have a voice.”

Once Wicker was shot, his daughters said he was handcuffed and left to bleed to death.

Cleveland states, “There's not a moment when it doesn't feel like something is missing.”

It's a rough road to keep opening these wounds, but they said they're hopeful not only will the officers face penalties but better training and supervising can take place throughout LMPD so no one else deals with the unbearable pain they're facing.

The lawsuit said Wicker did live at Broadleaf Apartments and had a right to be there, which the daughters said furthers frustration as to why he was killed.

LMPD's Public Integrity Unit is still finishing up its investigation, therefore the department will not comment on this lawsuit. The two officers who fired their guns, Gadegaard and Banks remain on administrative re-assignment.

Lawsuit filed by Wicker's daughters


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