Protester files suit accusing Louisville officer of battery

A Kentucky man who says he was repeatedly punched by a police officer while protesting police brutality has filed a lawsuit.

Denorver “Dee” Garrett, 29, filed suit Tuesday accusing Louisville Metro Police Officer Aaron Ambers of civil battery, unlawful imprisonment and intentionally inflicting emotional distress during the April 18 arrest, the Courier Journal reported.

Several Louisville police officers were seen in a Facebook video of Garrett being arrested near Jefferson Square Park, the site of numerous demonstrations over police brutality and the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed by Louisville police in March 2020.

In the video, an officer attempting to handcuff Garrett tells him several times to “stop flexing.” The officer then yells “stop” once more before multiple officers force Garrett to the ground. The initial officer then punches Garrett’s head at least three times while onlookers scream at officers to stop. It appeared Garrett’s glasses were broken in the struggle.

The newspaper’s request for comment from the police department was not immediately returned.

The agency hasn’t named officers involved in the arrest. It says an internal investigation into the arresting officer and an on-site supervisor are ongoing.

Garrett has pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Judge orders rebidding for Kentucky Medicaid contracts

A Kentucky judge has tossed out contracts awarded to six health insurance companies, citing flaws in the state’s bidding process for $8 billion in state Medicaid business.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ordered the state to rebid the entire package, the Courier Journal reported. The flaws “cast a cloud over the process’s legitimacy,” Shepherd said in his order issued Wednesday.

This would make the third time Kentucky will have to seek bids for the contracts, which are for outside companies to manage health care for people covered by Medicaid.

In a brief statement, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services said: “The judge’s orders are being reviewed and next steps are being determined.”

The first round of contract awards came under former Gov. Matt Bevin in late 2019. The second round came last year after Gov. Andy Beshear tossed out those contracts and ordered them rebid, citing questions about the awards, although the outcome was unchanged.

Shepherd said all current contracts will remain in place so health services are not disrupted for about 1.5 million Kentuckians who get health coverage through the federal-state Medicaid health plan.

The federal government provides around 70% of the costs of the $12-billion-a-year program, which is Kentucky’s largest health plan.

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