Two Indiana officers were suspended after a courtroom revelation that police believed a potential town council candidate was anti-police and arrested him, stopping him from running for office. Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp dropped charges that included rape and drug possession against Trevin Thalheimer last month after an officer and witness recounted how Brookville police talked about Thalheimer. Huerkamp said he was “disturbed beyond words” by the alleged police conduct and reported the incident to the Indiana State Police, which has launched a criminal investigation. The transcript of the hearing was made public Monday, reports the Washington Post.
Brookville Police Chief Terry Mitchum and officer Ryan Geiser were suspended with pay from the nine-person force Thursday by the town’s council, which ordered them to stay away from other officers and town property. The council installed an interim chief in a brief emergency meeting and said it would begin searching for a permanent replacement. Thalheimer said he decided not to run for town council since the arrest rocked his hometown of 2,500. Immediately after he got out of jail, he said he couldn’t leave his bed. He said he felt he had been “destroyed” by the criminal charges, which exacerbated his depression and anxiety. “I have a bad taste in my mouth about politics,” he said. “I knew politics was dirty, but I didn’t know I’d have to dumpster dive.” The controversy comes after Brookville police refused to get body cameras that are under consideration by the town council, Huerkamp said, adding that Brookville is the only full-time agency in the jurisdiction without any recording devices.