Kentucky State Police sued over death of pedestrian after high-speed chase
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – The family of a man who was walking to work when he was killed during a 2017 high-speed chase between a suspect and Kentucky State Police has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the agency’s commander and several troopers, arguing the pursuit was too dangerous and against policy.
Anthony Moore died on Aug. 29, 2017, after being struck in Fayette County by a pickup truck driven by Nathaniel Harper, who was being pursued by police for allegedly stealing the vehicle.
The federal lawsuit claims the pursuit went through residential areas reaching speeds of 100 mph and was against KSP’s policy, which prohibits troopers from speeding through residential areas.
“The police pursuit that caused Mr. Moore’s death violated KSP pursuit policy and just plain common sense, and shocks the conscience,” attorneys Gregory Belzley and Jonathan Kurtz wrote in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court.
The suit names KSP Commissioner Richard Sanders, two commanders and five unnamed troopers involved in the chase.
A KSP spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Harper is charged with murder, wanton endangerment and fleeing police. His case is pending.
The case spanned three Kentucky counties, went through a construction zone and spike strips were used to flatten the truck’s front tires. The vehicle crossed into Fayette County when it crossed a median and struck Moore before overturning and catching on fire, coming to rest in the yard of a home on Old Georgetown Street.
The lawsuit argues that many law enforcement agencies in the country – including KSP – have restricted pursuits based on the speed and type of offense involved.
“There is now a grown consensus that police should only chase persons guilty of violent felony offenses, and only then when the case poses no danger to the general public,” according to the suit.
KSP policy requires troopers to consider, among other things, the seriousness of the offense and terminate a chase when it enters an area where the speed limit is less than 55 mph.
The lawsuit is seeking a unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
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