Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 109 "It's not like I have X-ray vision. "You can continue with your negative view toward me. "I'm just trying to understand." Lea says, "You'll never understand." e officers find nothing in the car. Before the officer removes Lea's hand- cuffs, he asks, "Are you going to fight me or run?" en: "I know you're mad. It is what it is." When another officer hands over the traffic citation, he asks, "Do you under- stand the reason why you're stopped?" Lea looks at the ticket and doesn't respond because, no, he doesn't. "Alrighty, have a wonderful day," the officer says. Lea drives one block before Jackson has to switch sides with him and take the wheel. Jackson says, "ere was nothing you could do. You did everything right." Eventually, in court, the charge against Lea for making an improper turn will be dismissed, but will remain on his record. Lea's attorney, Lonita Baker, will request a written police report of the incident and discover there isn't one. Baker will request the officers' body-camera footage. e condensed, 32-minute video will have almost 500,000 views between Facebook and YouTube in the few weeks after it's released at the end of January. Comments flow in: "ey brand us mentally by putting cuffs on us at least once hoping we get used to it." "I'm a veteran cop… cops like you are why we have the issues that we do." "While they nastily abuse their power they speak all calm and nice to cover themselves." "ank God mom showed up…at this was not at night." A neighbor kid will be on a bike one day and say, "Hey, I saw your video," and Lea will be embarrassed, though now he hopes the video raises awareness. Friends and family will tell him they're sorry this happened to him, that he didn't deserve it. He will start seeing a therapist. He'll eventually drive the Charger again when his mom needs him to pick up his sister from dance, saying "Oh, Jesus" to herself as he walks out the door. He'll come up with the saying: "When I made that right, and I seen them lights, I thought I was ready to lose my life." Baker will file a civil complaint on behalf of Lea. An LMPD spokesperson will say the department is aware of the video and that chief Steve Conrad has initiated an internal investiga- tion, and will discipline accordingly if he finds a violation. Lea will keep selling cars until he starts at Tri-City Barber College in the fall. He'll find comfort at school, working the razor, giving people something that makes them look good, feel good.

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