7/2/2019Federal Appeals Court Upholds Sentence Against Corrupt Kentucky Traffic Cop
Kentucky traffic cop who beat a motorist who attempted to file a complaint against him has his prison sentence upheld by Sixth Circuit.
Former Providence, Kentucky Police Sergeant William Dukes Jr will continue to serve his prison sentence for beating innocent motorist Jeffrey W. Littlepage three years ago. The Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals was not impressed by the legal argument Dukes made in an attempt to have his conviction thrown out.
"It is usually not a good thing to see the flashing lights of law enforcement behind you," Judge Amul R. Thapar wrote for the unanimous three-judge appellate panel. "Sometimes you get lucky, and the officer just gives you a warning; other times you are not so lucky, and you get a ticket. But the string of horrors Officer William Dukes Jr paraded on Jeffrey Littlepage after a simple traffic stop has no place in our society."
Someone had called in a complaint about about a bad driver on May 25, 2016, and when Officer Dukes saw Littlepage's car drive past, he assumed that was the guy. Dukes initiated a traffic stop and ordered Littlepage out of the car. The officer "goosed" Littlepage during a frisk and hit him in the back, telling him to leave the area and not to return to that road or "You'll answer to me."
Littlepage was afraid because he needed to drive on that same road the next morning. So he called the Providence police department to register a complaint. His call was transferred to Officer Dukes. So Littlepage phoned the local sheriff and the state police. These agencies also contacted Dukes, who decided to go to Littlepage's home to arrest him for making harassing phone calls to law enforcement.
When Littlepage refused to go with him, Dukes entered the home, tasered and pepper sprayed Littlepage and broke his nose with a baton. Littlepage was cited for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer (for bleeding on Dukes's uniform). Instead of those charges sticking, Dukes himself was charged with misconduct, and he was found guilty by a jury.
Dukes tried to argue that he had probable cause to arrest Littlepage because his repeated calls to the police "served no legitimate purpose." The unanimous three-judge panel found otherwise.
"Even Dukes admits that Littlepage was trying to obtain information about filing a complaint and about where he could permissibly drive," Judge Thapar wrote. "Both are legitimate purposes for his calls. Dukes and the dispatcher provided Littlepage with inconsistent information, thus requiring multiple calls for clarification."
Dukes was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars and three years' probation. He is currently imprisoned at the McDowell Federal Correctional Institution in Welch, West Virginia, with an October 29, 2021 release date. Littlepage has an ongoing wrongful arrest lawsuit against Providence and Dukes.
A copy of the ruling is available in a 100k PDF file at the source link below.