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A protester who was repeatedly punched in the face by a Louisville Metro Police officer during an April arrest caught on video saw his charges from the incident dismissed last week.

Denorver “Dee” Garrett was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on April 18 as he was protesting with his signature cross near Jefferson Square Park, the epicenter of the justice for Breonna Taylor movement in downtown Louisville, that Sunday afternoon.

Court records show both counts against Garrett were dismissed July 21.

A representative of County Attorney Mike O’Connell’s office did not immediately return a request for comment about the reason for dismissal.

But Garrett’s attorney says he knows why.

“They knew it was an unwinnable case,” David Mour said Tuesday morning. “There’s not even any probable cause to believe this man did anything (illegal). If anything, he’s a victim of a crime. He was assaulted by these police officers, and then to make matters worse, he was arrested and falsely charged with crimes in order to cover up their crimes.”

In a video clip of the arrest, an officer is seen attempting to handcuff Garrett before he and another officer forced him to the ground. The initial officer then punched Garrett in the face four times, breaking his glasses.

According to the arrest citation, Garrett “was causing a disturbance” in the middle of the street for about 30 minutes before he was arrested and he “resisted the officers’ movements to put his hands together close enough to put handcuffs on. He was given loud verbal commands to stop resisting … which he did not follow.”

Mour, who was present during the arrest, said officers used what he calls the “push me, pull me” maneuver in which an officer standing on each side rocks the individual they are arresting back and forth and then tells them to stop resisting.

“They’ve done it hundreds of times in the protest movement,” Mour said. “Most of the resisting arrest charges have been dismissed because they’re not resisting arrest.”

A July analysis by The Courier Journal of more than 1,000 protest-related arrests from May 2020 through May 2021 found nearly 600 cases had been dismissed.

Defendants pleaded guilty or were convicted in about 100 cases, with many sentenced to volunteer work. Hundreds more cases remain pending.

Mour likened the actions of the officers involved in Garrett’s beating and arrest to that of Cory Evans, the ex-LMPD officer federally charged with striking a kneeling protester in the back of the head. Evans is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 4.

“These guys had Dee restrained on the ground and were mercilessly punching him in the face,” Mour said. “One is no worse than the other, so if Cory Evans deserves it, so do these guys.”

Mour is also representing Garrett in a civil suit against the LMPD officer they believe punched Garrett. LMPD has not publicly named the officers involved.

The suit, filed in April, accuses Officer Aaron Ambers of civil battery, unlawful imprisonment and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

Mour now plans to add Officer Marc Christiansen, who was listed on Garrett’s arrest citation, and the other officers on scene who didn’t intervene, and will also amend the complaint to allege abuse of process, malicious prosecution and civil conspiracy.

“There were two sergeants standing there, knowing what was going on, watching them do it,” Mour said, “watching them violate someone’s constitutional, civil and human rights, violate Kentucky law, violate the Constitution. They stood there and did nothing. These people should never be police officers.”

The video of Garrett’s arrest spread online quickly, prompting LMPD Chief Erika Shields to release a statement saying it “raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”

Shields opened an internal investigation into the officer’s conduct as well as the on-scene supervisor. LMPD did not immediately respond to Courier Journal questions about the investigation’s status Tuesday morning.

Metro Councilman Jecorey Arthur urged Shields and Mayor Greg Fischer to fire all of the officers involved in Garrett’s arrest, saying they violated the city’s use-of-force policy.

Reach Tessa Duvall at tduvall@courier-journal.com and 502-582-4059. Twitter: @TessaDuvall.