Brookville police chief, lieutenant suspended after allegedly arresting local candidate for political reasons

The police chief is accused of ordering the man’s arrest because he supposedly held anti-police views.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:33 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Indiana (WXIX) - Two members of the Brookville Police Department are suspended following allegations that they arrested a man thought to be anti-police whom they did not want running for town board.

Police Chief Terry Mitchum and Lt. Ryan Geiser are implicated in the evolving scandal.

Trevin Thalheimer is the man arrested on drug and rape charges that were later dropped. He says he doesn’t understand why Mitchum and Geiser thought he held anti-police views.

“I was shocked and in disbelief. Furious,” he said Wednesday, adding he experienced a “whole range of emotions” in the aftermath. “It was very hard.”

Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp announced late last month he had dismissed the charges, saying he was disturbed at the conduct of the investigation and arrest.

Thalheimer’s attorney, Judson McMillin said previously the officers got a search warrant after claiming they smelled marijuana on Thalheimer and his friend. They then arrested both people, later adding a rape charge based on an old allegation against Thalheimer that did not result in a prosecution.

Court documents claim Aleese Whitamore came forward saying the officers encouraged her to run against Thalheimer. She said previously she never wanted to run. Her testimony helped clear Thalheimer.

“Any time you start mixing police power with political preferences, you got major problems, and that’s what we had here,” McMillin said.

The incident forced Thalheimer to drop out of the race.

“I laid in bed for ten days. I didn’t go to work. My job suffered. I mean, there’s a lot of things going on at once,” he said. “And I was completely blindsided by the whole thing. I was never expecting that situation, and clearly wasn’t expecting the, you know, the allegation, that part, to be arrested for, because I was, I was dumbfounded by the whole thing.”

Thalheimer says he’s never had an issue with police.

“I have never stated that I was anti law enforcement,” he said. “I don’t know where they got that impression that I was. I never had stated that. I was under the impression that, you know, when it comes to the Brookville Police Department, that they’re all fair guys.”

A court transcript shows Geiser testified that Mitchum ordered Thalheimer’s arrest. It also says the prosecutor was not consulted on alleged DNA evidence.

Thalheimer is unsure whether he will run for office again.

“I do have a bad taste in politics in my mouth,” he said. “But I do love the idea of serving the community. So that is to be determined.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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