On January 30, the Department of Justice announced Katie R. Crews, former Louisville, Kentucky police officer, was sentenced to two years of probation, two hundred hours of community service and a $5,000 fine for using excessive force.

Crews was blamed for instigating a deadly shooting of restaurant owner, Davis McAtee, during the 2020 protests over the death of Breonna Taylor. While Crews did not shoot McAtee, prosecutors say she started the chain of events by firing pepper balls toward his restaurant.

In October 2022, Crews admitted during a plea hearing that “on or about June 1, 2020, while acting as a police officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department, she shot an individual with a pepperball even though the individual was standing on private property and not posing a threat to the defendant or others.” 

During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton called Crews’ actions “incredibly dangerous” and doubled the one-year recommended probation period to two years. Beaton said he was reluctant to allow Crews to avoid prison time but was told that McAtee’s family had given their blessing to the recommended sentence.

 Crews pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count for using unreasonable force. As part of the plea agreement, Crews is no longer an officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department and has forfeited her Kentucky law enforcement certification.

“As in this case, our office will work diligently with our federal and local law enforcement partners to ensure the citizens of the Western District are protected from the use of excessive force by officers sworn to protect them,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. 

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