ACLU files lawsuit against EPD officer

EPD releases body cam
ACLU files lawsuit against EPD officer
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:54 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:59 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The ACLU of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against Officer M. Taylor of the Evansville Police Department.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Kendra Owen, claims the officer detained her without cause and did an invasive vehicle search and pat-down search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

[Click here to see the full complaint]

The lawsuit claims Owen was driving for Uber late on the evening of Jan. 14, and parked legally in downtown Evansville while she waited to be contacted by a potential customer.

The lawsuit claims Officer Taylor then initiated a stop without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

According to the complaint, Owen declined to provide identification, knowing that she had done nothing wrong.

It claims Officer Taylor then ordered Owen to get out of her car and did a non-consensual pat-down search.

The lawsuit claims the officer then cited her, searched the car without her consent, and ultimately had it towed, leaving Owen on the sidewalk in below-freezing temperatures while she waited for a ride.

According to court officials, Owen’s citation was for “operating a motor vehicle without financial responsibility.”

However, they say her citation was dismissed on Feb. 24 after she provided proof of insurance to the court.

“Drivers do not, and should not, expect to be treated as suspects without any reason,” said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana Senior Staff Attorney. “This is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment and law enforcement across the state of Indiana needs to be aware that this is something that simply cannot be done in accordance with our Constitution.”

Evansville Police sent the following statement:

“The Evansville Police Department has been made aware of a lawsuit that has been filed by the ACLU of Indiana against one of our EPD officers. We do fully support our officer’s actions. Due to this being an active litigation, we cannot make any further statements about this incident at this time. We have had numerous requests for the officer’s body cam videos and we are providing those videos on the Evansville Police Department Facebook page.”