Internal investigation clears Kentucky sheriff’s deputy in use of force to pull women out of vehicle after car chase

Published 5:34 am Tuesday, July 6, 2021

An internal investigation into the conduct of a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy accused of excessive use of force and violating two women’s civil rights cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The State Journal obtained that investigation, as well as Sherrif’s Deputy Phillip Ray’s personnel files, via an open records request to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Conducted nearly two months after an incident on Sept. 20, during which Deputy Phillip Ray pulled two women out of a vehicle driven by a man who had evaded police for around 10 minutes, the investigation claims that no policies were violated in the early hours that morning.


A lawsuit filed against the sheriff’s office last month alleges that Deputy Phillip Ray was “viciously yanking” plaintiffs Maysia Harris and Hannah Clark “from the vehicle and slinging them to the ground” after stopping the car at Prince Hall Village Apartments in East Frankfort.

The internal investigation — conducted by Sgt. Lucas Deborde, later reviewed and submitted to Sheriff Chris Quire by Capt. Daniel Wills — found that Ray’s maneuver was appropriate given the circumstances. The investigation was completed on Nov. 8.

Full video of the incident can be seen on The State Journal’s Youtube page.

Ray’s personnel files include a mixed bag of praise and pause. He was awarded an “outstanding achievement” designation from the jailer in 2016, but near the end of his training at the sheriff’s office a supervisor warned that Ray “poses a risk” to himself, other deputies and citizens of Franklin County based on his observations and those of “every other” field training officer that rode with Ray.

The lawsuit was filed two weeks ago in U.S. District Court, Kentucky Eastern District, with Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove presiding. It names Ray, Sgt. Nathaniel Doty, Quire and Franklin County government as defendants.