Richmond Police Department Settles Federal Lawsuit

Richmond Police Department Settles Federal Lawsuit

Richmond Police Department settles civil lawsuit against Officer Austin Lipps and agrees to a monetary award for Stephen Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana (October 9, 2014) – In February of 2014, Richmond resident Stephen Mitchell filed a federal lawsuit against the Richmond Police Department, Police Chief Kris Wolski, Officer Austin Lipps, and Officer Chuck Irvin. The suit stemmed from an incident in August of 2012 where Mr. Mitchell was attacked by a police dog before and after he was handcuffed and arrested at his home. Mr. Mitchell’s complaint alleged that officers violated his constitutional rights. He further alleged that Chief Wolski was aware that Officer Lipps had prior complaints and was the subject of a previous complaint of excessive force.

However, following a settlement conference last month with the federal magistrate judge assigned to the case, the parties agreed to settle the matter. “I believe that Mr. Mitchell is satisfied with the outcome and he hopes that his case can be seen as a teaching lesson that an individual’s constitutional rights are of paramount importance,” said Scott Barnhart, Mr. Mitchell’s attorney in the case. He continued, “While police dogs are and can be an effective tool for law enforcement, they must be used cautiously in confrontation situations, especially those involving innocent bystanders.”


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