ILNews

Excessive force, discrimination suit over alleged beating advances

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A man who claims he suffered a bone-breaking beating at the hands of school employees providing security at his son’s high school football game may proceed with a federal lawsuit against the school district.

Louis Williams sued Munster schools and employees he claims assaulted him after they asked him to step off a grassy area where Williams was standing and talking on his cellphone. Williams was seen at a hospital the next day for a fractured rib, abdominal bruising, shallow breathing and back pain, according to the record.

Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich denied most of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment Tuesday in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division.

Williams, an African-American, claimed excessive force and racial discrimination in Louis Williams v. School Town of Munster, et al., 2:12-CV-225-APR. Rodovich wrote in an order Tuesday that those claims should be heard by a jury.

 “Williams has submitted sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that the School Town of Munster’s failure to provide any training on how to provide security and enforce its policies was the result of its deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of the attendees,” Rodovich wrote.

“The defendants argue that (employees’) actions were reasonable because Williams was acting aggressively and that the defendants ‘simply attempted to move him off the grass.’ ... However, the facts do not support only the defendants’ description of the events,” Rodovich wrote, noting Williams claims the assault took place after he moved from the grass and was prevented from leaving. “(T)he true course of events and reasonableness of the defendants’ actions should be determined by a jury.

“At this stage, the evidence shows that Williams has a plausible claim for excessive force against the defendants. Accordingly, the defendants’ motion is denied.”

Likewise, evidence in the record suggests summary judgment is improper on Williams’ race discrimination complaint. Defendants didn’t yell at non-minorities to get off the grass, for example, and Williams claims defendants made at least one disparaging racial insult during the confrontation.

“At this stage, Williams has presented sufficient evidence to show that the defendants may have acted with a discriminatory intent,” Rodovich wrote.

Summary judgment was granted in favor of the individual employees who are immune from personal liability under the Indiana Tort Claims Act, I.C. § 34-13-3-5(c).


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

ADVERTISEMENT