Glasgow police in Kentucky first claimed they encountered Jeremy Marr after he had broken into a home but then he suffered a medical episode when they tried to arrest him so they rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Then a video surfaced on Facebook (which has since been made private) showing three cops repeatedly tasering and kneeing on the 35-year-old man while piling on top of him which led to a lawsuit against the cops, so city attorneys adjusted the narrative to say that Marr had become “combative” and that the cops were only trying to “calm the suspect and de-escalate the situation.”
But they didn’t release the body cam footage until a year after the incident and only after Kentucky State police cleared the cops, Guy Turcotte, Hayden Phillips and Sergeant Cameron Murrell, of any wrongdoing. Not surprisingly, the video contradicted everything that police and city attorneys had been saying all along.
On Monday, a judge rejected a motion from the city seeking to dismiss the case on qualified immunity, allowing the lawsuit against the cops to proceed. At least for now.
At this stage of the litigation, it would be inappropriate for the determine whether any claims are precluded by qualified immunity without affording Plaintiffs the opportunity to conduct discovery, and, thus, the motion will be denied on this basis.
The incident took place on April 14, 2020 after the cops responded to the home of an elderly woman named Evie Tharpe who had called 911 after a highly agitated Marr walked into her home through an open garage door.
“I’d never seen him before in my life,” Tharpe told WCLU Radio. “And I said, ‘What are you doing here? Who are you? Get out of here!’ It scared me to death.”
But she realized he also appeared to be scared because he kept repeating “please don’t let them kill me.”
“I said, ‘I’m not killing you, and they’re not going to kill you,’” Tharpe said. “’They’re just going to come get you.’”
Marr was already out of the house by the time the first cop pulled up and seemed ready to cooperate, walking towards the officer with his arms raised, offering to hand him the knife in his pocket. But the cop told him to keep his hands out of his pockets and he did.
“Please don’t let them hurt me,” he repeatedly told the cop who assured him nobody was going to hurt him.
But he became even more agitated when they tried handcuffing him so they took him to the ground and piled on top of him.
The cops then tasered him about ten times over the next three minutes while kneeing him, placing their full body weight on him while ordering him to “put your hands behind your back.” He was pronounced dead by the time they got to the hospital.
An autopsy conducted by the state determined Marr’s cause of death to be “Agitated / Excited delirium complicating acute methamphetamine.” And a toxicology report determined him to have methamphetamine in his system, according to WBKO.
While the video shows he was paranoid and delusional which are common symptoms from somebody on methamphetamine, it is reasonable to believe he would not have died had the cops not tortured and tasered him for three minutes.
Read the full statement by Glasgow City Attorney Matt Cook before watching the video.
On the morning of April 14, 2020, Glasgow Police Department was dispatched to a residence in response to a call from an elderly female resident who stated that an unknown male had entered her home without permission. Upon arrival at the scene, the suspect responded that he was carrying a knife and appeared erratic, agitated, and paranoid. The responding officers attempted to calm the suspect and de-escalate the situation. The suspect, Jeremy Marr, did not comply with police commands; Mr. Marr also became combative and resisted arrest. Mr. Marr was eventually subdued with non-deadly force and handcuffed. Mr. Marr subsequently experienced a medical event and emergency medical personnel attended to him and transported him to the hospital, where he later passed away.
We are confident that the evidence will show that the responding Glasgow police officers acted appropriately in response to Mr. Marr’s actions and that the claims asserted in the lawsuit are not well taken. Both the Kentucky State Police and the Special Prosecutor found no wrongdoing by the Glasgow officers. The Plaintiffs’ lawsuit will be aggressively defended.