Entire Police Force In Indiana Town Quits After Being Asked To Perform “Illegal Things”
The entire police force of a small town in Indiana has quit in protest because their officers were asked to perform “illegal, unethical, and immoral things,” according to several news reports.
Michael Thomison, the former marshal for Bunker Hill, Indiana, revealed that members of the town council repeatedly asked him to “perform background checks on other council members and wanted unrestricted access to police reports from the small department,” the report said.
“None of us wanted to quit,” said Joshua Graham, one of the reserve officers who resigned. “They just basically did whatever they wanted to do, whether it’s lawful or not.”
Officers who ticketed and pulled over members of the council or their spouses were often punished and “written up,” officers told BuzzFeed News. The council also restricted patrols in the community to only one officer at a time even though Thomison was the only paid member of the force.
“We can’t make this up,” Thomison said. “They were just not receptive to having a police department.”
During a town council meeting, Thomison and four other officers resigned from the department, effectively leaving the community of just over 800 residents without a police department.
The former marshal said he was restricted to working 29.75 hours a week. The town is only required to provide benefits for employees who work 30 hours, he said.
Thomison added that he tried to work with the council, even asking the Indiana State Police to intervene and provide clarification to town officials on what police departments could and could not do.
Despite those efforts, he said, council members asked for background checks of past and current members of the council, as well as other “unethical” directives for officers.
Thomison said he felt his officers were punished for confronting members of the town council while carrying out their duties, including traffic stops.
One officer who pulled over a council member’s wife was later written up for “speeding,” Thomison said, because he was traveling faster than the posted speed limit while responding to a drunk driver.
Another officer who quit, Troy Gornto, told BuzzFeed he was punished after he stopped a council member for a malfunctioning taillight. Shortly after the stop, he said the council member complained he “took off quickly.” Gornto was cited for “abusing town equipment.”