2nd trial begins for IMPD officer David Butler, accused of misconduct, robbing motorists

Jury failed to reach verdict in first trial

INDIANAPOLIS - A suspended Indianapolis metro police officer accused of robbing motorists during traffic stops went on trial Monday. 

David Butler, 53, is standing trial for the charges for a second time, after jurors failed to reach a verdict the first time around.

Butler is charged with three counts of robbery and three counts of official misconduct.

He is accused of robbing three Hispanic men during traffic stops. 

In opening statements, prosecutor John Kieffner sharply criticized Butler, saying he took advantage of his power and his badge to serve himself instead of serving the public.

The defense denies Butler did anything wrong. In his opening statement, defense attorney Robert Turner said the evidence is not clear. 

Turner said victims pointed fingers at other officers and made contradictory statements. 

Legal expert Jack Crawford said re-trials give prosecutors an advantage.

"The state can correct any weak spots in their first presentation. If a witness became confused of an item, the state can go over it and correct it in the re-trial," Crawford said. "Most importantly, if the defendant has testified in a case previously, that testimony can be used against in a second trial."
The trial is expected to last four days.

Butler is suspended from the police department indefinitely and has been recommended for termination.

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