Assistant Chief of Cumberland Police indicted for civil rights violation
HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - A federal grand jury indicted Cumberland City Assistant Police Chief Kenny Ray Raleigh on one count of unreasonable force by a police officer and one count of obstruction of justice.
Raleigh is accused of hitting an arrestee multiple times resulting in bodily injury. The assistant police chief is also accused of directing another officer to charge the arrestee with resisting arrest in order to prevent the arrestee from talking about the unjustified use of force.
In March, Stephen Cody Simpson filed a civil rights complaint in London Federal Court. He claims in March of 2019 Raleigh along with other Cumberland Police Officers arrested him outside a liquor store.
According to the court filing, Raleigh was off duty, in plain clothes, and smelled of alcohol. Simpson argues in the complaint while he laid face down on the ground Raleigh asked, "Who is this?" after learning it was Simpson said, "You're a piece of s**t" and proceeded to punch him repeatedly in the face for several minutes.
Another officer is accused of then grabbing Simpson by the throat and slamming him to the ground. That officer currently faces no federal charges.
Simpson alleges he asked repeatedly for someone to give Raleigh a breathalyzer. No one ever did. As another officer wrote up the police report he asked again and Raleigh responded, "You make sure and write him up for resisting arrest".
The complaint goes on to allege Raleigh, along with the Cumberland Mayor and Chief of Police have, "ongoingly encouraged, tolerated, ratified and acquiesced to a dangerous environment of police brutality".
The next day Simpson was taken to Appalachian Regional Hospital in Hazard for treatment. The complaint claims he suffers from "neurological damage" the extent his attorneys claim has not yet been fully evaluated. In addition, they say he suffers from PTSD like symptoms including anxiety, stress, anger, depression, frustration, sleeplessness, nightmares, and flashbacks. He is seeking punitive damages.
In April attorneys representing Raleigh, Cumberland City, the mayor and other officers filed a response in federal court denying any wrongdoing.
We have reached out to attorneys representing all defendants in both the criminal and civil cases and yet to receive a response.
A trial in the criminal case is set for August 25. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
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