KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas City, Kansas, family is suing after a local officer responded to their home exhibiting unusual behavior earlier this year.
Charles Guy Jr. and Nicole Johnson, along with other family, are suing the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas; KCK Police Chief Karl Oakman; KCK officers Shepherd and Young, and an unnamed KCK sergeant.
The lawsuit alleges another family member called police to Guy and Johnson’s house on Jan. 3 over a child custody dispute.
When KCK officers arrived, the family said they weren’t home and alleges police entered the home without a search warrant and without their consent.
When Guy and Johnson, the child’s parents arrived, the lawsuit says the two KCK officers told them they had to relinquish custody to the other family member.
The KCK family said Shepherd was “extremely hostile, threatening, demanding and rude,” according to the lawsuit. They also allege it appeared he was under the influence of something.
Viral video released after the incident shows the officer steadying himself against a railing and the wall. His speech is slurred, and he makes some strange gestures with his hands.
The family said they pointed out the behavior to Shepherd’s partner, but he didn’t acknowledge the unusual actions, according to the lawsuit. The KCK family requested that a sergeant respond to the home, who the lawsuit alleges also didn’t acknowledge the behavior.
The KCK family said officers didn’t make a report on the incident or Shepherd’s condition, and their lawsuit alleges the officer was not required to take a drug test afterward.
Video of the interaction went viral over two weeks later.
The KCK Police Department said after it learned about what happened, it launched an internal investigation but said it believed a medical condition may have been a factor. Regardless, KCKPD placed the officer on administrative leave.
The department later said it determined there was no wrongdoing on the officer’s part, and Shepherd passed a fit for duty examination.
“It is important to note that residents featured in the video did not file a formal complaint and refused to cooperate with the investigation,” KCK police said in an April statement.
The KCK family is alleging the Unified Government, Oakman and the officers deliberately didn’t follow policies; their home was illegally searched; and other officers failed to intervene. They are also accusing Shepherd of common law assault and battery for alleged threatening behavior.
FOX4 reached out to the Unified Government and the KCK Police Department about the lawsuit. A spokesperson for both organizations declined to comment on pending litigation.