LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Cop accused of drawing gun after car crash


Louisville Metro Police Officer Zachariah Aubrey has been charged with threatening a man with his gun drawn during an off-duty car crash, according to a criminal complaint.

After the crash near the intersection of Taylorsville and Lowe roads, Aubrey hopped out of his personal car and approached the other vehicle with his gun drawn and threatened to hurt the driver, police said in the complaint.

The driver, Justin Cook, began to record the June 13 incident with his cell phone. The officer pulled Cook out of his car, according to the allegations, and said he was a police officer and repeated, "I'm gonna knock you the (expletive) out."

Aubrey, 26, is accused of continuing his rant, cursing and threatening the victim. He sat Cook on the curb and asked if he was on heroin and checked for needle marks in his arms and for pin-sized pupils, the complaint alleges. Cook - who is accused of driving while intoxicated - tried to stand up but was ordered to stay on the ground.

The officer's girlfriend called for backup, while witnesses called 911 to summon help for Cook, reporting an assault by Aubrey.

Witnesses told dispatchers Aubrey was "kicking him and pointing a gun at him. ... Yeah, the other guy is now sitting on the ground and he is doing whatever this guy is telling him to, the guy just kicked him," the complaint alleges.

Another off-duty officer got to the scene first, followed by Jeffersontown Police and on-duty Louisville Metro Police.

Cook was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and operating a vehicle with an expired license. After his girlfriend saw the video of the incident, she reported Aubrey's actions to police.

Aubrey, who has been with the department for two years, is charged with terroristic threatening, harassment and official misconduct.

Police Chief Steve Conrad ordered an investigation by the department's Public Integrity Unit, whose findings prompted the charges, officially served on Aubrey on Thursday. Conrad also ordered an investigation by the department's Professional Standards investigators to determine if departmental rules or regulations were violated.

The department released a brief statement Friday announcing the charges but did not released the video.

Aubrey, assigned to the department's 5th Division, has been placed on administrative reassignment and his police powers have been suspended while the criminal case is pending, department spokesman Dwight Mitchell said in Friday's email.

The department declined to comment further while the criminal case and departmental investigation are ongoing.