A family awarded $6 in damages after a jury found that three South Bend Police officers violated their constitutional rights may be forced to pay more than $1,400 to cover the officers’ court costs.
A U.S. District Court awarded the Franklin family a grand total of $6 after a jury found that South Bend officers Aaron Knepper, Michael Stuk and Eric Mentz violated the family’s constitutional rights in July 2012. The jury ruled that the officers illegally entered the Franklin family’s Bowman Street home without a warrant. The officers were looking for Dan Franklin, but instead the family said the officers punched and tased his teenage brother Deshawn.
Jurors found Knepper, Stuk and Mentz liable for illegal search and seizure but not for battery or false imprisonment.
An internal South Bend Police Department investigation also found that the officers violated the Franklin family’s constitutional rights. Knepper, Stuk and Mentz were ordered to undergo remedial training.
In a brief filed this week, the officers are asking the Franklin family to pay the officers $1,464.75 to reimburse them for hotel and mileage costs associated with the four-day trial, WNDU reported.
The Franklin family’s attorney, Johnny Ullmer, is seeking $175,000 to cover the costs of his work from 2012 to present.
Read more about the court proceedings in the story from WNDU.