Police accused of arresting man they did not want to run for office, prosecutor says
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. (WXIX) - A police department in Indiana is being investigated after allegations surfaced of officers targeting a man and arresting him for rape because they did not want him in an elected position.
The man is not being named by WXIX because he is not facing any charges.
The officers under investigation are members of the Brookville Police Department.
Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp announced Tuesday he had dismissed the charges, adding he’s disturbed at the conduct of the investigation and arrest. Huerkamp has requested that Indiana State Police investigate.
Court documents claim the man wanted to run for Brookville Town Board but was known to police for being anti-law enforcement.
Judson McMillin is the man’s attorney.
“Keep in mind that the board is the boss of the law enforcement,” he said.
McMillin said the officers claimed they smelled marijuana on the man and his friend.
“And they then got a search warrant, went into the house and arrested both individuals for possession of marijuana and some other things,” McMillin said. “And then (they) also arrested the individual who was running for the town board for the old rape charge. So, there’s a lot of problems with it.”
Huerkamp said the rape allegation has not resulted in the filing of formal charges.
“They were going to arrest an individual who was running for the town board on these 9-month-old allegations that they already knew were not going to be filed as a criminal charge,” McMillin said.
Court documents claim a witness, later identified as Aleese Whitamore, came forward saying the officers encouraged her to run against the man.
“It just makes me uncomfortable knowing that you’re trying to ruin someone’s life basically, over your small town politics,” she said.
Whitamore recalled being approached about running for town board.
“He says, ‘Yeah, he’s trying to take the spot on the board, and we don’t want him on the town board,’” she said. “I was like, ‘Why is that?’ He said, ‘Well, he hates cops.’”
However, Whitamore said she never wanted to be involved with the board.
“Small town politics is too much for me,” she said. “So, I just stay out of it.”
Whitamore’s testimony helped clear the man.
McMillin said while he appreciates local law enforcement, he’s disappointed in what happened to his client.
“Any time you start mixing police power with political preferences you got major problems, and that’s what we had here,” McMillin said.
WXIX reached out to the Brookville Police Department and the town board president to see if the officers involved are being reprimanded but have not yet heard back.
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