An officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has been suspended and charged after he allegedly grabbed and squeezed a man’s balls in order to secure “pain compliance” during a mistaken arrest. Travis Lewis, 32, has been accused of official misconduct, a Level 6 Felony, as well as battery resulting in bodily injury and another count of battery resulting in bodily injury for his rough treatment of the wrongly detained suspect, Marion County court records reveal (as per Law & Crime).
- Lewis grabbed the genitals of a suspect named Paul Johnson. The grabbing and squeezing resulted “in bodily injury, that is: pain.” Court documents went on to say that Lewis “did knowingly touch Paul Johnson in a rude, insolent, or angry manner by throwing Paul Johnson to the ground while handcuffed, resulting in bodily injury, that is: a laceration and/or pain.”
- Bodycam footage caught the whole thing. In the clip, Johnson can be heard shouting, “My balls!” during the February 10 incident, which was captured from several different angles. After an administrative review, the court found: “At approximately 1:23:27 into this video, Officer Lewis’s BWC [body-worn camera] shows Officer Lewis’s wrist (as evidenced by the opening of the glove worn and the gap at the start of the shirt sleeve) on top of Mr. Johnson’s right hip or hipbone and his hand in the area of Mr. Johnson’s genitals outside of the front of his boxer shorts below the navel,” according to an affidavit.
- Lewis can clearly be seen twisting Johnson’s balls. “It appears that Officer Lewis’s hand is in a closed position and rotating in a twisting motion in this area while Mr. Johnson is yelling and shifting his body in response,” the affidavit added, noting that Lewis “disengages” 12 seconds later. Fellow officers suggested that Lewis used his “hand … to grab and squeeze the genitals as pain compliance in order to elicit cooperative behavior from Mr. Johnson.”
- The whole arrest was a sham to begin with. The Indianapolis Star and local TV stations said that Johnson was confronted by Lewis over a protective order that was no longer active as the case it was associated with had been dismissed. However, the police department wasn’t keen to accept responsibility here and instead blamed the court for listing Johnson as a man who shouldn’t have been at the house where he was located. Police were only called to the residence because Johnson called 911 believing someone was breaking in. While thankfully that wasn’t the case, Johnson’s experience with the police was less than pleasant.
- A judge entered a not guilty plea on Lewis’s behalf on Thursday. The judge went on to say that unless Lewis changed it within 20 days, it would become permanent. The judge ordered Lewis to be booked, processed, photographed, and fingerprinted. Meanwhile, Lewis was originally placed on administrative duty but is now “suspended without pay pending a recommendation for termination.”