Two Indiana police officers have been suspended after it was revealed in a courtroom that they arrested a potential town council candidate who they thought was anti-police, preventing him from running, The Washington Post reports.
Last month, Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp dropped charges that included drug possession against Trevin Thalheimer, after witnesses testified about how Brookville police talked about him.
Brookville Police Chief Terry Mitchum and the investigating officer, Ryan Geiser, were suspended with pay by the town’s council. Thalheimer said he backed out of his candidacy for town council because he felt he had been "destroyed" by the criminal charges, which exacerbated his depression and anxiety. It reportedly took months for Thalheimer to clear his name after he was arrested.
“I have a bad taste in my mouth about politics,” he said. “I knew politics was dirty, but I didn’t know I’d have to dumpster dive.”
After the ruling, the town council president pointed out that there was evidence of wrongdoing by Thalheimer.
Elise Whittamore, a friend of Thalheimer, testified that Geiser called to ask her to run for the seat herself, saying, “We don’t want [Thalheimer] on the town board because he hates cops.”
Thalheimer was arrested just three days later.
"Shortly after calling Whittamore, Geiser said he investigated a report from Thalheimer’s neighbor that items in his house were stolen and that Thalheimer was supposed to watch the house. Geiser went to Thalheimer’s house and spoke with Thalheimer’s roommate and alleged that he smelled marijuana. He returned with a search warrant Jan. 30 and arrested Thalheimer because of drugs allegedly found there but also for a months-old rape allegation that a prosecutor had said he wasn’t able to substantiate," reports The Washington Post. "Geiser testified that another officer had told him there was new DNA evidence, but Geiser didn’t know what that was, and he wasn’t an officer on the investigation."
Thalheimer said he's looking into filing a civil rights claim against the police department, saying that he never considered himself anti-police before he was arrested, and wonders whether the police were concerned that he would have been in favor of requiring officers to wear body cameras.
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