Troubleshooters investigate ramifications of LMPD crash response
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Complaints about police failing to do their job seem endless, but one issue appears to be at the forefront in Louisville with far-reaching implications for many of the city’s drivers: police are unresponsive not at crash sites. In the meantime, cars go unfixed, medical bills go unpaid, people lose their jobs, and crimes go uninvestigated.
December 13, 2021 – a driver told a 911 operator that he had just had an accident on Beulah Church Road.
“What you need to do is exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle that we always use on status forms,” the 911 operator told the driver.
“Hi ma’am, my car is wrecked,” a victim of the Berry Boulevard crash told a 911 operator days later, Dec. 26, 2021. “Someone broke my car and drove off. I need the police now.
“Guy ran a red light,” a driver told a 911 operator on Dec. 2, 2021 after being involved in an accident at Hurstbourne Parkway and Watterson Trail.
“Can you tell if anyone is injured?” asked the operator.
“Yes, there is someone sitting outside,” the driver said.
Jan. 28, 2022 – A driver tells a dispatcher his hip and ribs hurt after an accident near the corner of South 1st Street and East Jefferson.
“Does anyone need an ambulance?” asked the 911 operator.
Four personal accidents have resulted in four cases in which lawyers claim the LMPD left their clients dry.
“I will send a link to your cell phone where you would go to make this report for your insurance company,” a 911 operator told one of the crash victims.
Their lawyer told WAVE Troubleshooters that they have many other similar complaints.
“Tell them they won’t report, they won’t send an officer, or they will send an officer but the officer shows up, doesn’t investigate, then leaves,” he said. said case manager Christine Marshbank. “He can hand them a civilian report to do on their own.”
In cases like this, issues arise: “Do you think one of the drivers has been drinking or using drugs? a 911 operator asked Chris Philpot, who had called after being hit.
“Man, yeah, they just left a club or something,” Philpot said.
Philpot said he thought he was run over by a drunk driver, but he was given a civil report form by the LMPD, no breathalyzer was administered, false information was given and at the time his attorneys were given access to the nearby security video they wanted. LMPD had collected, it had been saved more. Then Philpot’s insurance company denied the claim.
“There is no investigation,” said Marshbank, Philpot’s attorney. “If there is a video that can be obtained, it is lost. If there are any witness statements that might help, they are lost. It ends up being a situation, she says. From our clients, it’s obvious and it seems that a large majority are minorities, and it’s affecting minorities at a very high rate.
“I had a car accident and the police never came,” a victim of the accident told the 911 operator through an interpreter. “And I was taken to the hospital by an ambulance, so right now I’m in the hospital and I need my claim or my report number to be able to make my claim with my insurance.”
“They showed up,” Marshbank said. “They haven’t made a police report. Their claim is currently being denied. Their vehicle is sitting in their yard, and no one has helped them, and they’ve lost their jobs.”
Attorney JP Ward argued that LMPD standard operating procedures, as well as state law, require officers to conduct all accident investigations.
“State law states that anyone who drives a vehicle on the highways must, if there is damage, injury, on public roads, they must call and report to the police,” said Ward. “Once it’s done, the police are required, they have to, they have to investigate and file a report. We’ve seen a huge increase in hit-and-runs. They say in the street that the police don’t come. Reports will not be made.
No one knows that better than JR Dezarn.
“The car sped out and hit me head-on,” Dezarn said. “She got her hand back in the car, grabbed a small child and drove off. Took off running through the parking lot. I was like, what’s going on?
A woman totaled Dezarn’s truck, grabbed an unrestrained child in her car, ran to a car in a drive-thru lane at a store, jumped into it and drove off, all shown in the security tape provided to WAVE Troubleshooters by Dezarn’s attorney.
“It’s a crazy world we live in,” Dezarn said. “I can’t believe someone would be so cold-hearted to do something like that, without even checking out the other person or something.”
“Is this one of the craziest you’ve seen?” WAVE’s John Boel asked Dezarn’s attorney, John DeCamillis.
“He’s the one who got me to call you,” he said. “I’m like, I’ve seen enough.”
DeCamillis’ caseload is also exploding with hit-and-run cases, mostly by uninsured drivers.
“The thing is, we don’t hold people accountable these days, driving without insurance,” DeCamillis said. “They think they can get away with it because Kentucky DOT isn’t doing much to them, LMPD isn’t interested, and Joe Public getting hit by them, they don’t know what to do.”
The complaints were detailed in an interview request to the LMPD. Their response was similar to the theme of this story: unreturned phone calls and this response written in three sentences:
“In 2020, the LMPD issued Special Order 20-004 adjusting patrol response to several non-emergency incidents. With motor vehicle collisions, officers must be dispatched on personal injury collisions or when there are indications that there are problems between the parties involved. You have not provided us with enough information to answer your question. – LMPD
Respectfully, Angela Ingram”
Special Order 20-004 was issued at the start of the pandemic in 2020, limiting response to non-injury crashes and non-injury hit-and-runs in order to “risk exposure to the virus.” However, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear abolished COVID limitations a year ago, and the COVID card has been green for some time.
“It’s getting pretty long now,” Ward said. “The mask requirements, the city has reopened – if they’re still using that as a temporary reason not to, it’s time to stop that.”
“What people don’t understand is that these insurance companies put exclusions in their policies so that if there’s no proper investigation, there’s no proper documentation. , they can deny,” Marshbank said.
Meanwhile, complaints are piling up. Marshbank said he just added another case of a serious accident, a 911 refusal to send an officer, and when the victim tried to report a passing LMPD officer, she claims they have overtaken and ignored it.
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