A suspended Indianapolis police officer is on the other side of the law after authorities say he grabbed a suspect’s genitals during an arrest.
Dark and grainy body camera recordings from multiple angles are believed to have captured the February 10, 2022 incident, when officers attempted to bring in a man later identified as Paul Johnson a fleet of vehicles. According to court documents filed in Marion County, Indiana, prosecutors say the videos contain evidence of three separate counts: (1) formal misconduct (Grade 6 felony) ; (2) battery causing bodily injury (Class A misdemeanor); and (3) another number of batteries resulting in bodily harm (another Class A Offender).
Officer then Travis Lewis, 32 years old, is listed as the defendant named. According to an information obtained by Law & Crime, Lewis was charged “in the performance of his official duties”, thus leading to the first result. The second issue alleges that Lewis “intentionally touched Paul Johnson’s genitals, resulting in bodily injury, that is: pain.” The third issue alleges that Lewis “intentionally touched Paul Johnson in a rude, insolent or angry manner by throwing Paul Johnson to the ground while in handcuffs, resulting in bodily injury, that is: a wound tearing and/or painful.”
An affidavit stating the alleged facts of the case.
It says Johnson was the original 911 caller who brought officers to the scene. He said he was calling to “report a burglary in progress” at an address in Indianapolis. Officers arrived and confirmed that no burglary was taking place, nor had a burglary been committed, the affidavit said. Officers decided to arrest Johnson based on what the affidavit said was an “incorrectly confirmed” protective order that barred Johnson from being present at the residence in question.
Three days later, an officer “filed a formal complaint” against Lewis, the document said. The lawsuit accuses Lewis of using “unnecessary and excessive force”.
“The initial complaint indicates that Officer Lewis forcefully threw Mr Johnson, cuffed behind his back, onto the asphalt outside a marked car without control of his provenance,” the statement said. swear to write. “In addition, this complaint alleges that Officer Lewis touched Mr Johnson’s genital(s) with his hand, which was covered by his shorts, before Mr Johnson verbally complained of pain.”
The officer who filed the complaint said “he/she” (the document purportedly conceals the complainant’s gender) upon seeing Lewis “approach (Mr.) Johnson’s private parts and then twist his arm it”.
“Johnson immediately began screaming,” the document continued. “A few minutes after watching the video, [Mr.] Johnson made the statement, “my ball.”
On February 14, 2022, a supervisor reviewed video that showed the video “appearing” to show Lewis “grabbing the suspect’s genitals and applying pressure while the incident occurred,” the statement said. under oath. The supervisor’s review also noted that Johnson “immediately screamed when he was grabbed by Officer Lewis.” The document also alleges that Lewis’ actions were determined by an internal review to be “unnecessary, excessive and disproportionate to the [Mr. Johnson’s] act at the time ” (brackets in the original).
A criminal investigation ensued; The bodycam footage of the five officers was reviewed. It detailed the broader interaction and said Johnson had repeatedly told officers that no protective order was in effect for him.
“It was clear that Mr Johnson was resisting the officers’ efforts to secure him in the vehicle by kneeling on the ground with his upper body facing down in the back seat of the police car, just inside the rear passenger door. , And after that. “Then by placing on the back seat with legs extended while continuing to refuse to flex his legs and get into a sitting position,” the affidavit states. But it also says that “[a]to no avail” is “Johnson forced officers to resist” or “attempts.”[ing] injury to them. “
Johnson’s pants began to drop in the process.
“At about 1:23:27 in this video, Officer Lewis’ BWC [body-worn camera] shows Officer Lewis’ wrist (as evidenced by the opening of the gloves worn and the opening at the top of his shirt sleeve) above Mr Johnson’s right hip or hip bone and his hand in the area Mr. Johnson’s genital area outside the front of his shorts below his navel,” the affidavit explained. “It appears that Officer Lewis’ hands are in a closed position and rotate in a twisting motion in this area while Mr Johnson is screaming and shifting in response.”
Lewis “interrupts” 12 seconds later in the recording, the affidavit states.
Lewis then repeated the alleged conduct, according to the affidavit:
At about 1:23:49, Officer Lewis started over and told Mr Johnson to put his foot in while again placing his gloved left hand on Mr Johnson’s genital area and then closing hands while Mr. Johnson begins to ejaculate. At 1:23:54, Officer Lewis’s hand was clearly seen in a closed position while holding a quantity of boxer material and possibly part of Mr Johnson’s genitals inside. Officer Lewis’ hands are illuminated by a flashlight allowing viewers to clearly see his hand still inside Mr Johnson’s genitals before he loosens the grip and then begins to pull on his pants Johnson up to the area just above the knee at 1:24:01.
Johnson said he “couldn’t feel it,” according to the affidavit. He also asked to go to the hospital because, in his words, “my ball was bleeding.”
“When Officer Lewis asked for clarification, Mr Johnson repeated, ‘my ball,’ ‘according to the document.
The video then shows Johnson “abrasion or tear in the area of the right temple or eyebrow as a result of falling to the ground,” the affidavit said.
One of the officers present at the scene, Megan Clonce, said Johnson was “not fully cooperative” and suggested that Johnson “may have been under the influence of drugs.” She said she “kneeled” Johnson several times to get him into the team car but Lewis went further.
“I saw his hand like it was near his crotch area,” Clonce said, again in the affidavit. “[T]Maybe that’s a bit odd, you know, you don’t normally just stick your hand in there. “
Clonce said Johnson tried to get out of the car after Lewis grabbed his gonads but Johnson did not “try to move further or back away.”
However, Lewis was later accused of “very suddenly and forcefully” grabbing Johnson and throwing him to the ground. The document said the force was strong enough to bring Clonce to the ground.
Johnson’s temple was cut, Clonce said. He is bleeding.
This document contains yet another second-by-second description of what can and cannot be seen in dark and sometimes blurry bodycam videos.
Another officer, John Hartley, Johnson said that Johnson was uncooperative, that Lewis “grabbed him”, and that Johnson “got to the ground” as Hartley was circling the car. Hartley says his position makes it “impossible to see specific touchpoints” but says “there’s a lot of movement going on”.
An additional officer, Jared Henry, said the following: “I believe I saw Officer Lewis grab. . . Mr. Johnson’s. . . crotch area” (originally an ellipsis). “Mr. Johnson’s pants were ankle-length, and he just grabbed his crotch right in the middle of his shorts, and it looked like he was squeezing it.” Henry later corroborated accounts that Lewis “buckled” or “thrown” Johnson to the ground after the alleged testicular torture.
In a later statement, Johnson said he smoked marijuana, called 911 for fear the aforementioned break-in was futile, and in the process he resisted being put in a team vehicle. He then said, “they even squeezed my testicles” in reference to the arresting officers, according to court papers.
Damon Youngan officer who was consulted about the use of force, was asked to review “the allegation that an officer used their hand(s) to grasp and squeeze the genitals as complying with painful player to incite cooperative behavior”.
“Officer Young said it was likely Officer Lewis had meat from or parts of Mr Johnson’s genitals inside the shorts that appeared to be concentrated on his hand, but he was unable to say. definitively as genitals are not exposed, and contact will be through clothing during this incident,” the affidavit read.
Officer Young confirmed that officers were trained to restrain areas of the head and pelvis as methods of controlling suspects, but a subsequent review of the video showed that Mr Johnson was not actively attempting to kick or hurt the officers and like he was lying. on the backseat with his upper body held by Officer Henry, apparently without his hands near his pelvis to maneuver Mr. Johnson.
Regarding Mr Johnson’s arrest, after he left the vehicle, Officer Young advised that in his view action would be appropriate if (the fall) was controlled by officers. It is not known whether (the fall) was controlled by officers. It is not known whether Mr Johnson’s feet got caught in the officers or the trousers near his ankles affected his balance, but in his view there was no deliberate attempt to push Mr Johnson to the ground based on limited video from BWC.
“Catching the genitals for the purpose of pain relief is not an academy-taught technique,” Young said, again in the affidavit.
He added that the technique – “[w]without significant experience “-“ would violate the use of force principles taught in [IMPD] training academy” (verbally in brackets).
Johnson was taken to hospital “in a state of hysteria”, where he was treated. Although both officers were at the scene, body camera video and affidavits showed that officers suspected Johnson was in PCP, no toxicology tests were performed at the hospital. institute. A CT scan determined that there was “no evidence of intracranial effusion bleeding.”
According to court documents, the first hearing for Lewis is scheduled for March 31 at 9:00 a.m
Indianapolis FOX WXIN branch report that Lewis was initially assigned administrative duties but is now “suspended from work without pay pending a recommendation to terminate his contract.”
Read the fee documents below:
[all images via court records]
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https://lawandcrime.com/police/he-was-like-squeezing-it-cop-accused-of-grabbing-suspects-genitals-as-pain-compliance-in-order-to-elicit-cooperative-behavior/ Indianapolis Cop Travis Lewis charged with grabbing ‘ball’