LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Officer accused of kicking handcuffed woman


A Louisville Metro Police officer has been criminally charged with official misconduct and harassment with physical contact after being accused of kicking a handcuffed victim in the chest.

The six-year department veteran, Officer Jennifer Knopf, 32, has been stripped of police powers and is on paid administrative duty pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, Sgt. Phil Russell said.

The incident, caught on Knopf's in-car dash camera, began on the afternoon of June 2. Knopf responded to a call for backup to the Kmart at 4025 Poplar Level Road in response to an alleged shoplifting incident, Russell said.

According to a criminal complaint, Knopf arrived to find the victim seated and with her hands cuffed behind her back. The two engaged verbally, with Knopf allegedly calling the victim a bitch as she stood over her and told those nearby she "was familiar" with the victim.

Audio of the incident was not captured, according to the complaint.

Knopf eventually leaned into the victim, the complaint reads, put her foot on the victim's chest and kicked her, rolling her onto her stomach.

The police Public Integrity Unit - which investigates criminal activity by government employees - investigated the case before deciding to pursue criminal charges against Knopf.

The department's Professional Standards Unit - which investigates internally - will look into the allegations following court proceedings, Russell said.

Knopf is the second metro police officer who has been criminally charged this week.

Larry Wagner, a 22-year veteran, is on paid administrative duty and was stripped of his police powers Wednesday following his arrest on a charge of shoplifting from a sporting goods store.

Russell said the two incidents this week are a coincidence and that any organization that employs many people is bound to have some individuals who don't follow rules.

"I wish I had a crystal ball to determine which officers were likely to violate policy or law," he said.

Such violations, however, are not tolerated, he said.

"We recognize the importance of maintaining public trust," Russell said. "That's why we're pursuing criminal charges."