Federal judge awards ex-jail inmate $225K in chokehold suit

September 25, 2015

A federal judge has awarded $225,000 to a former western Indiana jail inmate who alleged a jail officer put him in a chokehold and threw him to the ground.

Mitchell Barnes filed his excessive force lawsuit in 2013 against former Vigo County Jail officer Brian Dawson. Barnes said in court documents he felt he might die during the September 2012 chokehold incident at the jail in Terre Haute.

Senior Judge Larry J. McKinney awarded the damages to Barnes in a Tuesday ruling.

Barnes' attorney tells the Tribune-Star that Vigo County must pay $75,000 in compensatory damages to Barnes.

Dawson will be responsible for $150,000 in punitive damages.

Vigo County Attorney Michael Wright declined to comment on judgment, saying he wasn't familiar with the lawsuit Barnes had filed.


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