KSP trooper at center of viral video faces civil rights lawsuit

In the viral video, the trooper ends up being pinned to the ground by a construction crew

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Three members of a road construction crew who said they were attacked by a Kentucky State Police trooper during a confrontation earlier this year, claim in a new lawsuit, the trooper violated their civil rights, the WHAS 11 News i-Team has learned.
 
The lawsuit, filed in federal court Friday, names the trooper,  Anthony Harrison and his supervisor Sgt. Jeremy Mabe.
 
The suit stems from the September 24 incident along highway 31W near the border of Meade and Hardin counties.
 
According to the lawsuit, Harrison was speeding through the work zone and ignored caution signs forcing Cynthia West to jump out of the vehicle's path. The document also claims after Harrison slammed on his brakes and got out of his car to confront the crew, he left his vehicle running in the only open lane, causing a roadblock. 

RELATED: Shouting, punch, scuffle leave off-duty trooper pinned to ground, under investigation
 
West and the other plaintiffs, Damon Johnson and Joey Gaddis, said Harrison, who was in plain clothes, started waving his badge and yelling at members of the Scotty's Contracting crew.
 
Lawsuits only represent one side in a legal dispute.
 
Part of the confrontation, however, was captured on cell phone video and posted to Facebook.
 
"Don't yell at me," West could be heard yelling to Harrison.

"I will yell at you," Harrison shouted back, "Or what?!"

The lawsuit claims Harrison pushed West and hit Gaddis in his throat area when he noticed Gaddis had started recording the confrontation on a cell phone.

The forty-four-second video shows Harrison hitting a man, who the lawsuit identified as Johnson, who was trying to intervene.

Other members of the road crew jumped in an pinned Harrison to the ground until uniformed officers arrived.

"He was going to get somebody killed because him sitting in the middle of the road, all it takes is for a semi to come flying in there because that's what they do and see there's nowhere to go," crew member Damon Johnson told WHAS11 the day of the incident.

When fellow KSP Troopers arrived, the lawsuit suggests Harrison received special treatment.
 
"Trooper Harrison was talking and laughing with other Kentucky State Troopers," the document claims while, "The crew members were made to stand in a line and be photographed…then interrogated individually about their possible criminal actions."
 
Harrison was allowed to leave but was placed on paid leave while an internal investigation was launched.
 
The lawsuit claims Harrison violated the crew members fourth, fifth and fourteenth amendment rights. The suit claims Sgt. Mabe, as Harrison's superior, failed to adequately train and supervise Harrison.
 
Harrison has since returned to duty, a KSP spokesperson said days before the lawsuit was filed, but was unable to reveal the status of the internal investigation. The spokesperson, Sgt. Josh Lawson, previously called the video "concerning" but cautioned investigators planned to use the video and information obtained from interviews to reach a conclusion.

RELATED: Trooper still on paid leave following confrontation at construction site
 
"If Trooper Harrison is found of any wrongdoing, he will be dealt with accordingly," Sgt. Lawson also said in September.
 
Lawson said he would consult with the department’s legal team when provided with the opportunity to respond to the lawsuit.
 
Lawyers for the crew members declined to comment outside of what is alleged in the lawsuit.
 
i-Team Investigator Derrick Rose can be reached at 502-582-7232 and dnrose@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter: @WHAS11DRose.
 

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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