"How can a drunk...off duty police officer shoot someone that is unarmed and get away with it?"
Louisville, KY-- The jury reached their verdict on Thursday evening in the case of former Louisville officer Chauncey Carthan, who pulled over and shot a man while under the influence and off duty.
The former detective was acquitted on the charges of wanton endangerment and official misconduct, the charges relating to the actual shooting of Ishmael Gough, but was found guilty of driving under the influence.
Carthan now only has to pay a $500 fine.
“We the jury find the defendant, Chauncey Carthan, not guilty. Will pay only a fine, avoiding jail time.”
The shocking verdict came after only three hours of deliberations.
On the evening of September 4, 2012, Carthan left a friend's house after drinking, and despite being drunk and off duty, proceeded to pull over Ishmael Gough for speeding.
Carthan claims he identified himself as a police officer and Gough initially complied, but says that at some point Gough "lunged" at the drunken officer, which is when Carthan shot him in the leg. Carthan was wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the dashcam footage from the incident.
Carthan's attorney, Steve Schroering, argued that his client had no choice but to shoot Gough, and insists he was acting in self defense. An interesting claim, as the non uniformed officer was drunkenly harassing and pointing a weapon at this man and clearly initiated the confrontation.
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“His words to me were something to the effect of, 'How can a drunk off-duty police officer shoot someone that's unarmed and get away with it?'” Gough reportedly asked the prosecutor after the verdict was handed down.
On Wednesday, the day before the jury began its deliberations, Gough took the stand to describe his version of events. The prosecution maintains that the officer failed to properly identify himself, an extremely plausible claim given the officer's attire.
The victim testified for approximately an hour, describing Carthan as aggressive, telling him he was a police officer while pointing a gun, and ordering him to get on the ground, but never informing Gough of what he did wrong, WDRB reports. Gough also testified that he was walking backwards with his hands in the air when he was shot.
In the 9-11 call that was released following the incident, a woman who was witnessing the incident describes what she is seeing.
"He's got his gun, he's saying he's police though, but dude's begging for his life down here on the ground." she explains.
"The male who has the gun says hes police?" the dispatcher asks.
"Yeah, he said he's the police, but I dont know. He ain't got no uniform, no badge, no nothing- but he's got this pistol pointing at the dude." the caller continued. In the background after she finishes her statement you hear a man crying out in pain and begging for help. Gough had been shot in the leg.
Gough will now be filing a civil suit against the officer. There is no indication the officer will be allowed to return to the force at this time.