A former Lawrence police officer has been accused of beating a fellow officer and locking her in a dog kennel, according to court documents filed earlier this month in a federal lawsuit.
The allegations against former officer Jacob W. Burke came from a 31-year-old former officer who was in a relationship with Burke and told police that Burke abused her over a period of several hours one night in January 2015. After the female officer reported the abuse, Burke was arrested but not charged. He resigned from the department about two months later.
Details about the alleged abuse have surfaced in court documents after Burke filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Lawrence, claiming his rights were violated when police searched his home and arrested him.
The suit also makes a claim of defamation against police officers, and names as defendants Officer John Pien, Detective Amy Price and Sgt. Amy Rhodes of the Lawrence Police Department. The lawsuit makes claims totaling more than $500,000.
According to court documents filed earlier this month, Burke and the female officer had been in an on-and-off relationship for about 2 1/2 years when, on Jan. 21, 2015, the two met at Burke’s apartment and spent an evening together that turned violent.
The woman later told police that Burke slapped her seven or eight times, injuring her face, threw her against a wall and choked her until she blacked out.
After the woman regained consciousness, she said, Burke ordered her to get undressed and climb into a dog kennel in his garage. The woman said she complied because she was afraid he would hit her.
Over the course of the night, Burke “lectured” the woman about their relationship and eventually released her from the kennel. The woman slept at Burke’s house because she was afraid of what would happen if she left. In the morning, she took photographs of the injuries on her face, which included bruising and swelling.
The woman said she was hesitant to report the incident because Burke had previously told her that “he could kill her and that he knew people who could make her body disappear.”
When police investigated and searched the woman’s phone, they found text messages between her and Burke that corroborated the woman’s account, according to the city’s answer to Burke’s lawsuit.
Detectives found text messages from Burke, sent three days after the incident, that read “I dunno. I don’t like what happened the other night. I wasn’t in control,” and “I kind of messed you up.”
Another message read: “I’ve never hit a girl before. I beat you.”
According to the Lawrence Journal-World, which first reported the allegations against Burke, the female officer is no longer employed by the police department. Both she and Burke started working for the department in 2011.
The Journal-World reports that Burke is still licensed to work as a law enforcement officer in Kansas, but is not currently so employed.