Lawsuit filed against officer involved in shooting, killing of Desman LaDuke in Nicholasville

Desman LaDuke.JPG
Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 17:39:39-05

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — The family of a man shot and killed in an encounter with Nicholasville police have filed a lawsuit.

Police say 22-year-old Desman LaDuke was shot at his home on Green Street last month. They say they were checking a report that LaDuke was armed and suicidal and that they fired when he raised two guns at them.

His family says LaDuke was not a danger to officers.

On Tuesday, an attorney representing LaDuke's estate filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against Joseph Horton, the officer who Kentucky State Police say shot LaDuke.

They claim that no reasonable officer would've considered LaDuke a threat when he was shot.

Attorneys Matt Minner and Jonathan Fannin of the law firm Minner Vines Moncus released the following statement on the filing of the lawsuit by LaDuke's estate:

On October 22, 2022, a member of Desman LaDuke’s family called 9-1-1 asking the Nicholasville Police Department to help Desman as he was struggling with emotional stress and thoughts of self-harm. Instead of helping him, the very authorities called to protect Desman took his life. It is difficult to understand how that call for help resulted in a SWAT team surrounding Desman’s house and a sniper shooting Desman in his bedroom, ultimately taking Desman’s life. There was no one else in the house with Desman. Desman was not a threat to any other person. The department and the shooter must now answer for their actions and face some difficult questions about Desman’s death. The lawsuit filed today is the first step toward obtaining answers. We intend to vigorously prosecute the civil rights, wrongful death, and other claims included in the Complaint.

Read the lawsuit below: