Tri-State police accused of arresting man they did not want to run for office

‘Any time you start mixing police power with political preferences, you got major problems’
A police department is being investigated for allegations about officers arresting a man because they did not want him in an elected position. (Source: WXIX)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 10:09 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Indiana (WXIX) - The Brookville Police Department is being investigated after allegations surfaced about officers targeting a man and arresting him for rape because they did not want him in an elected position.

We are not naming the man because he is not facing any charges.

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.

“Keep in mind,” said Judson McMillin, the man’s attorney, “that the board is the boss of the law enforcement.”

McMillin says 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 explained. “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 says 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 nine-month-old allegations that they already knew were not going to be filed as a criminal charge,” McMillin said.

Court documents claim a witness came forward saying the officers encouraged her to run against the man. Aleese Whitamore says she is that woman.

“It just makes me uncomfortable knowing that you’re trying to ruin someone’s life basically, over your small town politics,” she said.

Whitamore recalls being approached about running for town board. “He say, ‘Yeah, he’s trying to take the spot on the board, and we don’t want him on the town board.’ I was like, ‘Why is that?’ He said, ‘Well, he hates cops.’”

But Whitamore 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 says 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.

FOX19 reached out to the Brookville Police Department and the Town Board President to see if the officers involved will be reprimanded. We have not heard back as of this writing.

We are also waiting to hear back from Indiana State Police.

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