In February of 2016, Bicknell Residents Samuel Chambers and Kelly White filed a lawsuit against Officer Kevin Carroll, the City of Bicknell, other Bicknell police officers. The lawsuit alleged that the Bicknell Police Department and their police officers violated their constitutional rights during an incident that occurred in February of 2014. The case was recently settled and a motion to dismiss is currently pending in a Knox County Superior Court.
“This case demonstrates that even in smaller, more rural communities, citizens have the right not to be wrongfully arrested or to have excessive force used against them by police,” said Scott Barnhart of Keffer Barnhart LLP, who represented Mr. Chambers and Mr. White in the case. He continued, “a civil rights lawsuit like this one serves as an important reminder to the community and to police officers who may not know, may have forgotten, or may not care about those important constitutional rights.”
The lawsuit alleged that officers violated the men’s Fourth Amendment rights. Specifically, the complaint alleged that on February 4, 2015, Officer Kevin Carroll arrested Mr. Chambers and Mr. White at a Bicknell gas station. It continued that after both men had placed their hands on the hood of the car, Officer Carroll told Mr. White and Mr. Chambers “Don’t move, or you’ll regret it.”
The complaint further alleged that after taking him to the police department, Officer Carroll escorted Mr. White through the dispatch area. Officer Carroll pushed Mr. White to the ground, who was handcuffed. After exiting the building, Officer Carroll pushed Mr. White down to asphalt in front of his BPD car. Officer Carroll stood over Mr. White, and removed his badge while asking Mr. White if Mr. White “wanted to do this.”
Former Mayor Jon Flickinger testified under oath about Officer Kevin Carroll. The former mayor stated that he was aware that Officer Carroll has “a temper” and was aware of complaints made against him. It was recently reported in April of this year that Officer Carroll was suspended by the City for fifteen days without pay.
Portions of the encounter between the Bicknell Police Department and Mr. White were captured by a surveillance video camera in the Department. Mr. Barnhart noted that the video was an important aspect to the case. He said, “not only is there is an increased prevalence of surveillance video in many peoples’ lives today, but those videos can be an important part of police training.” Mr. Barnhart continued, “it is our sincere hope that the City uses that video, this case, and perhaps others to train and educate Bicknell police officers concerning the constitutional rights of the citizens they serve.”
Looking for an Indiana civil rights attorney that understands your rights? Contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today if you have questions or believe your constitutional or criminal rights have been violated. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case. Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.