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Wounded Warrior claims he was profiled by police

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Lt. Col. Donald Blake Settle Lt. Col. Donald Blake Settle
Mid-City Mall where Settle said he was told to leave by police. Mid-City Mall where Settle said he was told to leave by police.
Executive Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky Chell Austin. Executive Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky Chell Austin.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It was a January event Lieutenant Colonel Donald Blake Settle still remembers. He was visiting Mid-City mall getting a gift card when he claims an Louisville Metro Police Department officer told him to leave.

"I said have I done something wrong? He said, 'there's no pan-handling in here, or vagrants," Settle said.

Settle said he was wearing sweat pants with a Wounded Warrior logo and a sweatshirt with a cast on his arm. He was dirty with drywall dust.

"I told the officer, I said 'sir, you are profiling the wrong individual," he said.

As a Wounded Warrior, Settle lives with a traumatic brain injury suffered while serving overseas. He told WAVE 3 it affects his short term memory. Settle said as he tried to reach for his wallet, an officer pointed a taser in his face. Settle claims about five or six officers eventually forced him to the ground and asked several questions that he had trouble answering because of his brain injury. He said he tried to tell them he was a Fort Knox soldier.

"I said please call Fort Knox. They will explain," he said.

His attorney said Settle filed a complaint and said the results were that the involved officers weren't disciplined. Now, Settle is considering a lawsuit. "Hold those individuals accountable," he said.

Chell Austin is Executive Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky.

"Well, this kind of thing happens all too often," Austin said. "Brain injury, most people don't really understand it. It can cause physical problems. It can cause emotional problems and it can cause cognitive problems."

Austin said police are trained in dealing with brain injury, but this can serve as a learning point for everyone.

"The more aware that they can be about these issues, the better off they're gonna be," Austin said.

About the incident, an LMPD spokesperson said, "A complete and thorough investigation was conducted. As a result of that, LMPD has been working with the officials at Fort Knox with their Wounded Warriors program. Also, during the 2013 LMPD in service training for officers, a block of instruction for traumatic brain injuries will be advanced."

Click here for a link to the Brain injury Alliance of Kentucky's Military resource journal.

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