According to US Department of Justice prosecutors, Bryan Wilson and Curt Flynn recorded themselves hitting residents with drinks in order to show the video to other officers. At the time, Wilson and Flynn worked as detectives with the LMPD Ninth Mobile Division, a unit that patrolled neighborhoods with high levels of violent crime before it disbanded in 2019.
They were charged with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Louisville pedestrians and now each face up to 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors said in a press release that Wilson and Flynn treated the throwing of drinks as a game. After purchasing the drinks, they identified a target and parked their car near the sidewalk or the edge of the road.
“Wilson or Flynn would announce over the police radio words like ‘someone was thirsty’ or ‘thirsty fam’ and then [they] would throw the drink, including the container and/or its contents, at the targeted civilian,” prosecutors said.
In at least one incident, a person was knocked to the ground from the force of being hit with a drink.
The audience first learned of allegations that officers were throwing drinks at residents in west Louisville when former District 1 Metro Board member Jessica Green asked Police Chief Erika Shields about it during a meeting in June 2021. Green called the actions “disgusting” and “disgusting “.
Shields acknowledged at that meeting that the FBI was investigating and predicted it would be “another black eye” for an already struggling police department. The Department of Justice conducted separately a global survey of the LMPD to determine whether officers engaged in a discriminatory policing pattern or practice.
On Tuesday, Shields said in a statement that the LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit would conduct an investigation to determine if other officers were involved.
“I want to make it clear to everyone, the actions of former Detectives Flynn and Wilson are reprehensible, disgusting and do not reflect the core values of LMPD,” Shields said in the statement. “Their behavior was demoralizing and dehumanizing for the victims. On behalf of this agency, I would like to express my sincere apologies to those affected.
Shields added that Flynn resigned from the LMPD on Tuesday, effective immediately. Wilson resigned in July 2020, according to LMPD.
Also on Tuesday, Wilson pleaded guilty to a separate charge of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and faces an additional five years in prison.
Prosecutors say Wilson hacked into the computer apps of at least six women in September and October 2020 to steal nude photos and videos. He then contacted the women via text message and threatened to release the photos and videos unless they sent him more nude material.
Wilson and Flynn are both expected to be sentenced by a judge in September.