INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A former police officer with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Police Department faces a federal indictment on civil rights and obstruction charges.
The indictment stems from an April 18, 2017, incident at Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Federal prosecutors said Michael Kaim, 27, assaulted a patient as he was arresting him outside the facility. The patient was injured during the incident, leading to the civil rights charge. Investigators said Kaim then wrote a false report about the arrest, resulting in the obstruction charge.
The indictment alleges that Kaim repeatedly struck the victim, whose name is redacted in the document, in the “face and head without legal justification.” The offense resulted in “bodily injury.”
Kaim “willfully deprived” the victim of the “right, secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to be free from unreasonable seizure by one acting under the color of law, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer,” the indictment said.
As for the obstruction charge, the indictment alleged that Kaim wrote in his incident report that the victim refused to comply with orders to leave the facility and resisted Kaim’s efforts to escort him from the building. He also said the victim acted aggressively toward him during the arrest.
“In truth and in fact, as the defendant then well knew,” the indictment said, the victim “was following the defendant’s orders and exiting the Veterans Affairs Medical facility when the defendant used illegal and unjustifiable force against him.”
The FBI investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis is assisting in the case.
The center issued the following statement:
“The Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center works to uphold the highest traditions of human respect and law abiding behavior. It is extremely distressing that one of our former police officers has been indicted for illegal conduct. The bright light for our Veterans and staff is that it was our own internal investigation that resulted in this individual being discharged from VA employment and subsequently indicted in Federal Court. The individual named has not been convicted of any crime, and we do respect his right to due process. He is no longer an employee of the VA.
"We want to assure Veterans in need of Medical care that they will be treated with the honor and respect they deserve. We do not tolerate any disrespectful or illegal behavior by any member of our staff. We stand ready to serve Veterans and hold every employee to the highest standards of lawful and respectful behavior.”