Lawsuit: State trooper harassed man after Facebook complaint

A judge has ruled that Kentucky police coerced a man into allowing officers to search his car, leading to charges including violating a protective order by carrying a gun.

MCKEE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky man is suing three state police troopers who he says came to his home and harassed him after he complained about a traffic stop on social media.

David Gabbard complained about the 2017 traffic stop on Facebook, saying he was “pulled over for no reason,” and included the hashtag “#policeharassment.” The next day, the lawsuit alleges, the trooper who pulled him over, Scott Townsley, and two other troopers came to Gabbard’s Jackson County home and Townsley slapped and pushed Gabbard and kicked his dog.

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Gabbard alleges Townsley took off his badge and said “fight me as a regular citizen.” The officers left after seeing a camera on the property, according to the federal suit, filed last month in London, Kentucky.

An attorney for the troopers and Kentucky State Police did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment.