Police officers do not only abuse their authority while they are in the line of duty. Sometimes, they can involve themselves in certain confrontations without any legal authority to do so. Victims do have a way of using the legal process to get help after these incidents.

An incident that occurred just outside of Greenwood’s northern border on the south side of Indianapolis resulted in a bar patron being severely beaten.

Air Force veteran choked by off duty officers

Both of the police officers and the victim were present at Mikie’s Pub on South Emerson Avenue. The argument apparently began when one of the officers approached the victim, showed his badge, and told him to leave the bar after a dispute with the bartender. The intoxicated man knocked the badge away and the situation escalated. The two off duty officers were then captured on video choking the man for over a minute and placing a knee into his back while he was on the ground.

The victim was known in the community as an Air Force veteran who generally got along with law enforcement. The two officers were suspended and recommended for termination by their department after the altercation, but they were found not guilty of felony criminal charges for battery after a trial.

What happens after the criminal case? 

Even though these officers were acquitted in criminal court, the victim still has other options. A civil lawsuit is often the best way to receive compensation and hold the police accountable, as the burden of proof is lower in civil cases and criminal convictions of police officers rarely occur. Whether the police are convicted or not, a civil lawsuit is the only way to get paid for medical expenses, missed time from work, and other financial losses associated with the victim’s condition.

Some attorneys specialize in lawsuits against the police and the local governments that employ them. One of these expert attorneys can file a lawsuit that alleges a victim’s civil rights were violated by the officers. Any kind of off duty violence is an illegitimate use of their authority.

What powers do off duty officers have?

As a general rule, off duty police officers only have the same power to enforce the law and make arrests as any normal citizens. They are not granted any kind of special legal status during times when they are not actively working. Another common tactic used by police who engage in illegal beatings of suspects is to make an attempt to falsify criminal charges that would justify their actions. However, an investigation into their misconduct will usually discover that the charges related to the underlying criminal activities are illegitimate and a local prosecutor will drop them at a later time.

Get help from a lawyer who specializes in cases against the police

To speak with an attorney after any situation involving police misconduct, contact David M. Henn. The Law Offices of Henn, Haworth, Cummings, and Page are located in Greenwood and they assist injured clients throughout the Indianapolis metro area.

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