The Paducah Police Department is responding to accusations that two of their officers used excessive force during a traffic stop.
On Tuesday, the officers, with assistance from sheriff’s deputies, pulled over a black Dodge truck on Lone Oak Road. The vehicle’s occupants, Kliff and Wendy Kester of Paducah, were suspected of using stolen dealer’s license plates.
The two were detained, handcuffed, and questioned but later released without charges.
Wendy Kester later posted on Facebook that the officers shouted at them while forcibly removing them from the truck with drawn weapons and no explanation. The Facebook post has nearly 1,000 shares as of Friday, and has sparked online criticism of the PPD.
It’s prompted Police Chief Brandon Barnhill to defend the officers’ actions in a press release Thursday.
"It is customary during any felony traffic stop to have weapons drawn and pointed at any potential threat, and loud verbal directions given by the officers in order to gain control of the incident, as was in this case," said Barnhill.
"Today (Thursday) at 11:30, we met with the Kesters to review videos of the incident, and to maintain trust and transparency within our community," said Barnhill. "During that meeting, information was explained that the judgement of an officer’s actions have to be based on the information that the officer has at the time of the incident. NOT, as circumstances or time transpires."
Barnhill says there will be no further details until an internal investigation into the matter is complete.