News Video: 3 LMPD Officers Were Out of Control in Shooting Death of Mentally Ill Homeless Man


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The family of a mentally ill, homeless Louisville man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Louisville Metro Police officers who shot him in an abandoned house near Churchill Downs in February, seeking more than $18 million in damages.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday on behalf of William Young Jr.’s mother, claims Young was sleeping in the home on Oleanda Avenue when “three-out-of-control” officers shot Young about a dozen times with “minimal or no provocation.”

The suit also accuses the “ill-trained” officers of trying to “conceal their misconduct” by giving misleading information about the shooting, “with full knowledge that Young was no longer available to contradict them.”

The officers, Russell Braun, Randall Richardson and Paige Young, shot the 31-year-old within seconds of encountering him, despite being familiar with him and knowing he wasn’t a threat, the suit claims.

Police, however, have said the officers were responding to a report of a home break-in and Young was armed with a “meat-skewer” type of weapon – and charged officers.

LMPD does not comment on pending litigation.

Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for the department, said a criminal investigation of the officers has been turned over to the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. The officers have returned to duty.

Claims made in filing a lawsuit provide only one side of the story.

The Feb. 11 shooting was captured on police body cameras.

When the officers arrive, they discuss that it may be a person squatting in the home.

The officers announce they were police and moved up the stairwell. When Braun turned into a room at the top of the stairs, Young is crouching in the corner, according to the video.

He then lunges toward officers with something in his hand and the officers open fire.

The lawsuit, filed by Prestonsburg, Ky, attorney Ned Pillersdorf, claims the officers knew it was Young and they were familiar with him, as he was frequently found squatting in abandoned homes in the area.

The officers shot Young at least a dozen times “without any provocation or justification” and were “deliberately indifferent to his medical needs,” handcuffing him and failing to render aid, according to the suit.

“I don’t think the police were in any danger and the force they used was excessive,” Pillersdorf said in an interview. “They filled him up with bullets”

And then, the suit claims, the officers provided false information – that Young was armed with a gun, a machete and that they were responding to a burglary. In fact, the officers knew Young “was simply a homeless, harmless person that they cruelly, callously” killed, the suit claims.

Pillersdorf says in the suit that this is “part of a pattern with LMPD, shooting first and then trying to justify the killing of innocent civilians later.”

“The police misconduct in my opinion needs to be addressed, in how they treated the situation of a homeless person,” he said in an interview.

The lawsuit is seeking $18 million in punitive damages, unspecified compensatory damages and a jury trial.


WDRB 41 Louisville News

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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