Louisville Metro Police officers are accused of violating a Louisville woman’s constitutional rights and police policy when they executed a midnight raid in May 2019 over a drug investigation into her then-boyfriend, according to a lawsuit filed this week in Jefferson Circuit Court.
The officers searched Keesha Boyd’s home, detaining her children and destroying her furniture before seizing more than $30,000 in cash, her attorney claims in the court filing.
Boyd wasn’t charged with a crime in connection with the search. Her attorneys allege that the search was unlawful, and the warrant was based on false information. The suit, filed against nine LMPD officers, alleges they unlawfully broke into Boyd’s home and took her property and seeks punitive damages.
The circumstances of the case bear striking similarities to the investigation and subsequent raid that resulted in the police killing of Breonna Taylor — including some of the officers involved.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, and former officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison were among the 16 officers that executed warrants at the homes of Keesha Boyd and her then-boyfriend Anthony Bonner, according to court records and police documents.
The warrants were based on claims provided by a confidential informant — and obtained by narcotics detective Brian Bailey, who is currently on administrative reassignment pending an investigation into allegations in three lawsuits that he sexually abused multiple women whom he forced to work as confidential informants.
“The police officers had absolutely no reason to be there, legal or otherwise,” attorney Patrick C.M. Hoerter said in a statement. “Their actions constitute a violation of her clearly established rights. We believe the warrant was issued based on false information provided by a confidential informant who was coerced by Bailey. Keesha is one of the many victims in this community of Brian Bailey’s illegal warrants and illegal forfeiture practices.”
Boyd declined to comment for this report. Bonner could not be reached. A spokesperson for LMPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The warrants obtained by Bailey for Boyd and Bonner’s homes are nearly identical.
Attorneys have criticized Bailey’s use of confidential informants and accused him in court of relying on “boilerplate” affidavits and, in some cases, making up information.
He was also the subject of a recent investigation by KyCIR and WDRB News that found he obtained more residential search warrants than any other LMPD officer between January 2019 and June 2020. All but one of the warrants reviewed by KyCIR and WDRB was based, at least in part, on the word of confidential informants.
In seeking the search warrant for Boyd’s house, Bailey said in an affidavit that Bonner would “come and go” from her house, “and on multiple occasions staying for hours or spending the night.” Bailey also alleged that a confidential informant had purchased heroin from Bonner at Boyd’s house, though he didn’t present any evidence of a controlled buy, what experts consider best practice for drug cases involving informants.
Bailey offered no evidence that Boyd, herself, was involved in criminal activity.
“It is common for drug traffickers to have two separate locations for drugs and money to avoid law enforcement detection,” Bailey wrote in his affidavit, which was signed by Jefferson District Judge Jessica A. Moore about seven hours before police burst into Boyd’s home with a battering ram as she slept, according to the lawsuit.
Inside Boyd’s home, police found the money, three guns, and less than an eighth of an ounce of marijuana, according to court documents and police records.
As Mattingly and seven other officers searched Boyd’s house in Shively, Hankison, Bailey and Cosgrove were among the eight officers searching Bonner’s home about four miles away in Parkland.
There, with a no-knock warrant, they found more money, a few guns, and an array of drugs.
Bonner was charged with multiple drug trafficking crimes and pled guilty in November 2020 to amended charges in a one-year felony diversion agreement. A day later, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson approved the LMPD’s seizure that totaled more than $46,000 in cash.
Boyd claims the $30,000 seized from her house has no connection to drug dealing.
This story follows reporting done in a collaboration between KyCIR and WDRB News.