A married gay couple in Kentucky claims that they were victims of unwarranted police violence and now face unfair charges, WKMS reports.
The Graves County couple, Billy Hamilton and Patric Rodriguez, believe they were wrongly targeted and harassed by members of the local law enforcement. Police body camera footage uploaded to Hamilton’s YouTube page shows the officers forcibly arresting both men in their own home.
Hamilton explains on YouTube that officers had come to their home on February 22 looking for his husband, who wasn’t home at the time. Because the officers refused to explain why they wanted to speak to Rodriguez, Hamilton, “frustrated and feeling harassed,” then made multiple inquiry calls to a non-emergency line at the sheriff’s department.
In response to those calls, several officers returned to the home around midnight that night. Rodriguez, who had been drinking, answered the door but angered the officers when he accidentally locked himself out.
“I will tell you right now, you shit apple redneck, if you raise your voice to me one more time I will throw your ass right off this porch and drag you to jail,” said an officer identified as Chief Deputy Davant Ramage, who also called both men a “doo-dah.”
After threatening to break down the door with a sledgehammer and shoot the couple’s dog, officers entered the home without warrant or explanation, tasered Hamilton, and arrested him on charges of disturbing the peace, and harassing communications, and resisting arrest. Rodriguez was also arrested for alcohol intoxication and disorderly conduct.
The men, who were arrested in their private residence, argue that both disturbing the peace and public intoxication charges in Kentucky must be related to a public disturbance.
After spending a night in jail, the couple learned that the police had been looking for Rodriguez because of an outstanding fine in another county, which was promptly settled.
Hamilton and Rodriguez say they believe they were unfairly targeted because of their sexuality. Their attorney calls the incident “the most extreme case of homophobic police brutality I’ve seen here.”
The couple, who have been married for four years, recently moved to Kentucky from California. “Until this happened I felt extremely comfortable, now we’re very paranoid,” Rodriguez says. “It’s changed our comfort level quite a bit.”
“I hope that you understand why I am so distraught,” Hamilton writes on YouTube. “That is the reason I am sharing these videos—so that people everywhere in our country can see how a gay married couple are being treated.”
The couple is still working to have all charges dismissed due to lack of probable cause and unreasonable seizure.