Lawsuit alleges racial discrimination against University of Pikeville police

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A former University of Pikeville student is now seeking millions of dollars in a lawsuit against the school.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Diana Wiedel accuses University of Pikeville Campus Police of false imprisonment for detaining former student Katelyn Akers once on campus and again two hours later at the Landmark Inn which the lawsuit claims is outside their jurisdiction.

The lawsuit also states campus police 'tracked' and 'stalked' Akers to inflict emotional distress.

Pikeville attorney Eugene Sisco says they believe Akers was racially targeted because she associated with African American students.

"We believe that there's inherent and cultural problems up there relative to the security department, and Ms. Wiedel had decided this was the right time to bring this action," he said.

No one at the university could comment on the lawsuit, but they did issue a statement to Mountain News saying 'the University of Pikeville denies these reckless allegations' and that the 'litigation has been referred to defense counsel' who instructed them to make no further comments. UPIKE's statement also says the university 'thrives on a diverse student and faculty population, and provides a quality educational experience in a safe, non-discriminatory environment.'

"A lot of them on the surface might appear to be garden variety lawyer/lawsuit type things, but we're prepared to stand on each and every allegation that's made in the complaint," said Sisco.

The lawsuit also alleges the campus police were not properly trained and did not have adequate experience for the job.

The lawsuit is seeking a total of $11 million.

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