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Excessive force, discrimination suit over alleged beating advances

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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).


 

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  1. Looks like 2017 will be another notable year for these cases. I have a Grandson involved in a CHINS case that should never have been. He and the whole family are being held hostage by CPS and the 'current mood' of the CPS caseworker. If the parents disagree with a decision, they are penalized. I, along with other were posting on Jasper County Online News, but all were quickly warned to remove posts. I totally understand that some children need these services, but in this case, it was mistakes, covered by coorcement of father to sign papers, lies and cover-ups. The most astonishing thing was within 2 weeks of this child being placed with CPS, a private adoption agency was asking questions regarding child's family in the area. I believe a photo that was taken by CPS manager at the very onset during the CHINS co-ocerment and the intent was to make money. I have even been warned not to post or speak to anyone regarding this case. Parents have completed all requirements, met foster parents, get visitation 2 days a week, and still the next court date is all the way out till May 1, which gives them(CPS) plenty of to time make further demands (which I expect) No trust of these 'seasoned' case managers, as I have already learned too much about their dirty little tricks. If they discover that I have posted here, I expect they will not be happy and penalized parents again. Still a Hostage.

  2. They say it was a court error, however they fail to mention A.R. was on the run from the law and was hiding. Thus why she didn't receive anything from her public defender. Step mom is filing again for adoption of the two boys she has raised. A.R. is a criminal with a serious heroin addiction. She filed this appeal MORE than 30 days after the final decision was made from prison. Report all the facts not just some.

  3. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

  4. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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