A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Samantha Ramsey’s family files civil suit alleging excessive force resulted in the 19-year-old’s death

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune contributor

The family of Samantha Ramsey has filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit, naming Boone County, Sheriff Michael Helmig and Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Brockman as defendants.

Ramsey was shot and killed by Brockman as the deputy was attempting to stop the vehicle she was driving while leaving a field party in Boone County on April 26, 2014.

Samantha Ramsey

Samantha Ramsey

Ramsey was 19 at the time of her death.

Brandi Stewart, Ramsey’s mother and the administrator of her daughter’s estate, is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, which alleges Brockman’s use of excessive force resulted in the young woman’s death.

The suit alleges, in part:

“Defendant Brockman acted intentionally, knowingly, unreasonably, maliciously, negligently, recklessly, in bad faith, and with deliberate indifference to the safety and rights of Samantha Ramsey and the other Plaintiffs when he attempted to stop them without probable cause and when he used excessive force against them.”

Also identified as plaintiffs are Chelsey Pendleton, Bobby Turner and Tevin Harmon, all passengers in the car driven by Ramsey.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs could not be reached for comment.

The civil suit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky office in Covington.

The Boone County Sheriff’s department declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

The suit alleges Brockman jumped onto the hood of the slow-moving car Ramsey was driving and began firing through the windshield as she was attempting to place the car into the parking gear from the driving gear.
The suit further contends Boone County and Helmig’s policies, practices, customs and usages regarding the use of deadly force against nonviolent, unarmed suspects caused Ramsey’s death and injuries to the passenger plaintiffs.

In a statement filed by Brockman on the date of the incident, however, the deputy indicates he fired the weapon because he feared for his life and the safety of nearby pedestrians.

Brockman stated Ramsey accelerated and made a left turn striking him and causing him to jump to avoid being run over and killed. Brockman also stated that while holding onto the hood with one hand, he felt the car beginning to accelerate.

“Deputy Brockman in reaction to the deadly force brought against him, drew his Glock 22 Service weapon and fired what he believed to be 3 shots (turned out to be 4) through the driver window.”

In November, a Boone County grand jury declined to indict Brockman.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, and punitive damages against Brockman, in an amount to be shown at trial. They are also seeking costs incurred in the action and reasonable attorney fees as well as prejudgment interest and further relief as the court may deem just and proper.

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One Comment

  1. Charles Moakler says:

    The U. S. Attorney has all the facts on the case and refuses to act. All these home cooking investigations end up with no evidence of wrongdoing and the constitution requires that Americans be represented by the federal prosecutor, but this pres isn’t going to trouble any federal workers to do their job.

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