Suspended Cop Travis Lewis Booked on Misconduct Charges
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Our First Look at Suspended Indianapolis Cop Charged with Squeezing Wrongly Detained Suspect’s ‘Balls’ as Form of ‘Pain Compliance’

 
Travis Lewis appears in a booking photo released to Law&Crime by the IMPD.

Travis Lewis appears in a booking photo released to Law&Crime by the IMPD.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has released a booking photograph of a now-suspended officer accused of grabbing a man’s genitals in order to secure “pain compliance” during an ill-fated and allegedly erroneous arrest.

According to Marion County, Indiana court records, Travis Lewis, 32, is accused of official misconduct (a Level 6 Felony), battery resulting in bodily injury (a Class A Misdemeanor), and another count of battery resulting in bodily injury (also a Class A Misdemeanor).  Court papers allege that Lewis grabbed the genitals of a suspect named Paul Johnson “resulting in bodily injury, that is: pain.”  The documents further allege that Lewis “did knowingly touch Paul Johnson in a rude, insolent, or angry manner by throwing Paul Johnson to the ground while handcuffed, resulting in bodily injury, that is: a laceration and/or pain.”

“My balls!” Johnson can be heard saying on body camera videos which captured the Feb. 10, 2022 incident from several angles.

Paul Johnson (bottom) was captured on body camera video as he was being restrained by an Indianapolis police officer. (Image via court records/Officer Jared Henry’s body cam.)

Paul Johnson (bottom) was captured on body camera video as he was being restrained by an Indianapolis police officer. (Image via court records/Officer Jared Henry’s body cam.)

Court records explain several findings from an administrative review process.

“At approximately 1:23:27 into this video, Officer Lewis’s BWC [body-worn camera] shows Officer Lewis’s wrist (as evidenced by the opening of the glove worn and the gap at the start of the shirt sleeve) on top of Mr. Johnson’s right hip or hipbone and his hand in the area of Mr. Johnson’s genitals outside of the front of his boxer shorts below the navel,” the affidavit explains.  “It appears that Officer Lewis’s hand is in a closed position and rotating in a twisting motion in this area while Mr. Johnson is yelling and shifting his body in response.”

Lewis “disengages” 12 seconds later in the recording, a court affidavit states.

Body camera footage showed the hands of Indianapolis police officers near the blue windowpane-patterned boxer shorts of Paul Johnson. This screengrab was taken after Johnson was already on the ground and after Officer Travis Lewis allegedly grabbed Johnson's genitals.

Body camera footage showed the hands of Indianapolis police officers near the blue windowpane-patterned boxer shorts of Paul Johnson. This screengrab was taken after Johnson was already on the ground and after Officer Travis Lewis allegedly grabbed Johnson’s genitals.

Reviewing officers suggested via the affidavit that Lewis appeared to have used his “hand . . . to grab and squeeze the genitals as pain compliance in order to elicit cooperative behavior from Mr. Johnson.”

Law&Crime copiously went through the alleged details of the matter on Tuesday.

Reports from the Indianapolis Star and local television stations said officers confronted Johnson over a protective order that was not even active; the underlying case had been dismissed.  The police department blamed the courts for incorrectly listing Johnson as a man who should not be present at the address where he was found.

Johnson, who was legally allowed to be where he was found, was the person who called 911 because he thought someone was trying to break into the residence.  Those fears turned out to be unfounded.

Johnson refused to get into a squad car, thus resulting in the alleged torsion action by Lewis.

Body camera footage showed the hands of Indianapolis police officers near the blue windowpane-patterned boxer shorts of Paul Johnson. This screengrab was taken after Johnson was already on the ground and after Officer Travis Lewis allegedly grabbed Johnson's genitals.

Body camera footage showed the hands of Indianapolis police officers near the blue windowpane-patterned boxer shorts of Paul Johnson. This screengrab was taken after Johnson was already on the ground and after Officer Travis Lewis allegedly grabbed Johnson’s genitals.

On Thursday, a judge entered a provisional not guilty plea on Lewis’s behalf; it would become permanent, the judge said, if Lewis did not change it within 20 days.

The judge also sought to ensure that the defendant was booked, processed, photographed, and fingerprinted by the local constabulary by Thursday afternoon.  One of his attorneys said arrangements were being made to effectuate and choreograph that process. The above mugshot was one of the results.

Indianapolis FOX affiliate WXIN recently reported that that Lewis was placed on administrative duty but now stands “suspended without pay pending a recommendation for termination.”

Read some of the charging documents below:

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now a Senior Editor for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.