Mercer woman's lawsuit says police officer was abusive, injured her

gkocher1@herald-leader.comDecember 20, 2013 

HARRODSBURG — A Mercer County woman has filed suit against a Harrodsburg police officer claiming that he was abusive to her and injured her when she went to a collision scene.

The suit by plaintiff Haley Brown names Harrodsburg police officer Thomas Fournier, Police Chief Billy Whitenack, Mayor Eddie Long and city commissioners Scott Moseley, Marvin Isham and Charlie Mattingly as defendants. The defendants have not yet filed a response to the Dec. 10 complaint filed in Mercer Circuit Court.

In the suit, Brown says she responded to a Sept. 8 collision on U.S. 127 South because close friends involved in the accident had asked that she appear and "assist them to gather personal items and provide transportation."

But when Brown appeared at the scene, Officer Fournier "began demanding she leave 'his scene' with coarse, abusive and vulgar language, refusing to permit or disregarding Haley Brown's explanation for her presence," the suit says.

Fournier threatened to arrest Brown, but when she turned to walk away from the accident scene, Fournier "restrained her arms behind her back in a rough and abusive manner and began pushing her," the suit says.

The complaint says this "unwanted and unwarranted touching ... caused Haley Brown to suffer a rip in a surgical incision under her breast from which one of her stitches was ejected and bled."

The suit says Fournier's conduct was in violation of Harrodsburg Police Department's policies and procedures. In addition, the suit says the police chief, mayor and city commissioners knew or had reason to know the "harmful propensities" of Fournier and "maliciously disregarded" the same.

That apparently is in reference to Fournier's 2005 discharge from the Lawrenceburg police force by the Lawrenceburg City Council. Fournier appealed his dismissal to Anderson Circuit Court but the circuit court upheld the council's action. The Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed Fournier's appeal to that court in 2008.

The Mercer County suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages from Fournier, Whitenack, Long, and the city commissioners.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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