A former Louisville police officer has pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor count of using excessive force in a case that stemmed from the fallout of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020.

Katie R. Crews, 29, admitted in a plea hearing Tuesday that she fired a pepperball that struck Machelle McAtee on June 1, 2020, outside a popular barbecue restaurant. At the time, law enforcement authorities were attempting to enforce a city curfew intended to contain weeks of public protests after Taylor was killed during a police raid of her apartment in March of that year, the Washington Post reports.

Crews was indicted this year on a felony count that carried a potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but the misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum penalty of one year and $100,000. Under the terms of the agreement, Crews, who was terminated from the Louisville police force in February, has forfeited her Kentucky law enforcement certification and will not be permitted to seek future employment in law enforcement, federal officials said.

Federal prosecutors said they are recommending one year of probation for Crews but no jail time. Her sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 30, 2023.

 

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