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Paducah Police Chief Responds to Accusations that Officers Used Excessive Force

The Paducah Police Department is responding to accusations that two of their officers used excessive force during a traffic stop.

On Tuesday, the officers, with assistance from sheriff’s deputies, pulled over a black Dodge truck on Lone Oak Road. The vehicle’s occupants, Kliff and Wendy Kester of Paducah, were suspected of using stolen dealer’s license plates.

The two were detained, handcuffed, and questioned but later released without charges. 

Wendy Kester later posted on Facebook that the officers shouted at them while forcibly removing them from the truck with drawn weapons and no explanation. The Facebook post has nearly 1,000 shares as of Friday, and has sparked online criticism of the PPD.

It’s prompted Police Chief Brandon Barnhill to defend the officers’ actions in a press release Thursday. 

"It is customary during any felony traffic stop to have weapons drawn and pointed at any potential threat, and loud verbal directions given by the officers in order to gain control of the incident, as was in this case," said Barnhill. 

"Today (Thursday) at 11:30, we met with the Kesters to review videos of the incident, and to maintain trust and transparency within our community," said Barnhill. "During that meeting, information was explained that the judgement of an officer’s actions have to be based on the information that the officer has at the time of the incident. NOT, as circumstances or time transpires."
Read Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barhill's press release in full here

Barnhill says there will be no further details until an internal investigation into the matter is complete. 

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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