A Louisville man has filed a federal lawsuit against a handful of Louisville Metro Police officers.
Percy Brown claims his right to a speedy trial was denied after he spent eight years in jail for charges that were later dropped.
“Mr. Brown suffered a true injustice as he languished inside of a jail cell for nearly 8 years because Louisville police officers kept fabricating evidence to keep him there,” said Brown’s attorney, Elliot Slosar, in an emailed news release.
A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
According to the lawsuit, Brown was arrested in 2008 in relation to the murder of Jennifer French in Louisville’s Russell neighborhood.
The lawsuit alleges the Louisville Police Department framed Brown for his refusal to admit to his participation in a “check forgery scheme” and ignored eyewitness accounts of potential suspects.
“The Defendant Officers conspired to frame Mr. Brown for the murder of Jennifer French and other violent offenses by offering significant consideration to suspects in the forgery investigation in exchange for their false statements,” the lawsuit states. “The Defendant Officers carried out this plan over the course of more than seven years by manufacturing witnesses and fabricating evidence in an effort to keep Mr. Brown incarcerated.”
During the eight years Brown spent in jail, he was charged with murder, rape, kidnapping, sodomy, assault, wanton endangerment and witness intimidation, per the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims the involved officers knew “these charges against Mr. Brown were false and fabricated through improper tactics.”
All the charges were dropped earlier this year, according to a statement from Sloser. Brown is seeking undisclosed financial compensation.
Defendants in the federal suit include Louisville Metro Police Department Detectives Michael Smithers, Kristen Downs, Roy Stalvey, Brian Kurigan, Keith Roberts, Gary Alcorn and David Sanford; Louisville Police Lieutenants Todd Kessinger and Barry Wilkerson; University of Louisville Police Officer Jeffrey Jewell and an officer only identified in the suit as “Officer Weathers.” Institutional defendants are Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government, the City of Louisville, and the University of Louisville.