have emerged via attachments to the city's motion, including Phillips' initial statement documenting his version of events as well as accompanying police reports filed by Webb and Officer Ron Dombkowski.
Phillips claims his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by Officer Webb after a neighbor made a complaint that a marijuana odor was allegedly emanating from his home on South 29th Street in Lafayette.
If the conduct of Officers Webb and Dombkowski was anywhere near what Phillips alleges, it should concern every citizen in this community. Based on past history, it is more than likely that every word of Phillips' statement is accurate. The undisputed fact that officers prevented Phillips from recording the exchange he had with officers speaks volumes. Why hide their behavior?
At a time when LPD is forced to produce a public relations video because of a growing number of civil rights complaints, these revelations serve to add to the discredit of the scandal-laden agency, which is unfortunate since there are many fine officers on the force who are affected by the misdeeds of fellow officers. The police chief is an honorable man, but until these repeat violators at the LPD are removed, Chief Flannely will want to keep a bottle of Excedrin in his top drawer.
Perhaps the money would be better spent on educating rogue LPD officers on Constitutional Law. After reading the details of this case it is painfully obvious that they lack a basic understanding of the Indiana and U.S. Constitutions. Or, maybe it's that they just don't care, because their egos are bigger than our freedoms. Maybe it's because they don't like being told no when a citizen decides to invoke a 1st, 4th, or 5th Amendment right.
It seems that too often in America invoking one's God-given rights is seen as being "evasive" or "uncooperative." Ask any criminal lawyer. He or she would tell you that it is not wise to give statements to police officers without having a lawyer present, even if you are not guilty. Many innocent people have gone to jail for giving up the right to remain silent.
Mr. Phillips made a mistake by stepping outside his castle. For someone who seems to know and understand his rights, his error in "cooperating" when he was under no obligation to do so placed him in an unfortunate situation where he became vulnerable to bully cops who were most unprofessional in their conduct.
At the very least the officers should be reprimanded for violating the Constitution, bullying a citizen with unprofessional remarks, and for swearing in anger.
Many citizens are concerned that the same names continue to surface whenever complaints of abuse and unprofessional police conduct arise. And while there are those who believe police officers should be given a free pass for their errors and misdeeds, there are many others who believe this type of dangerous thinking should be challenged every time it rears its ugly head.
The end result never justifies the means, especially if constitutional rights are shattered in the process. Law abiding citizens want criminals prosecuted, but they also want the Constitution protected, revered,and followed. Our founders shed blood for the Bill of Rights. They knew how important they were if we are to maintain a free society. Freedoms should not be taken lightly, and violating freedoms should not be shrugged off in an effort to get a perceived "bad guy."
LPD COP: "I HATE THAT FUCKING ROSWARSKI!"
"Roswarski, I hate that fucking Roswarski!" stated one officer, according to Phillips. "That fucking Roswarski didn't give me the raise I wanted. In fact, I wish he (pointing at Andrew) had beaten that son-of-a-bitch Roswarski, because if he had won I would have probably gotten the fucking raise."
Well, sir, let me be the first to say that you don't deserve a raise. You deserve to have your mouth washed out with soap before you are fired!
Van Phillips, father of Andrew, asked a very good question after witnessing this tirade.
"On Wednesday a week or so from now I'm signed up to start taking the Lafayette Civilian Police Academy," stated Van Phillips. "Is this an example of the type of behavior I'm going to watch when I do the ride-a-longs?"
No, Van, this is the type of behavior the LPD does their best to sweep under the rug. Fortunately, more people like Andrew Phillips, Erin Gardner, and Mark Bowers are willing to shed light on a growing problem.
Sunlight truly is the best disinfectant.
Andrew Phillips' Statement:
Click on to enlarge. (Warning: You may want to sit down while reading.)