Kentucky resident Antwynette Houston is suing a Louisville Metropolitan Police Department officer for excessive force. The officer, Scott Sturgeon, was off-duty and in plainclothes at the time of the assault.
The incident happened in August of 2013 when Houston pulled into a gas station at 3 a.m. She had her nine-year-old son in the car with her. Houston initially parked her car crookedly in a handicap spot. When Sturgeon confronted Houston about her car, she reversed it and parked in a legal spot. Sturgeon, who, again, was dressed as an ordinary civilian during the incident, told Houston one of her tires was now on a parking spot line. He then demanded to see her ID and asked if she had been drinking.
Houston told Sturgeon she doesn't drink and refused to show him her ID. She then said she was calling 911 because she felt threatened by him.
“I asked him why are you harassing me, I haven’t done anything,” Houston told WLKY.
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Before on-duty officers arrived, Sturgeon reached into Houston’s car and dragged her out. He is seen on surveillance tapes dragging her over to his car and forcing her inside. He separated Houston’s shoulder during the altercation and left bruises all over her body. Houston had to have surgery on her shoulder and still has not fully recovered.
Houston reported the incident to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, but no substantial punishment was doled out to Sturgeon. Even after seeing the surveillance tapes, the department still cleared Sturgeon of any excessive force charges. Since the police department failed to punish Sturgeon, Houston filed a lawsuit. Houston’s attorney, Aubrey Williams, says he won’t stop fighting until some form of justice is served.
“She’s continuing to suffer and so I’m just trying to get justice for her, whatever that may be,” Williams said.
To see footage of the incident, watch this WLKY report: