Three high-ranking Indianapolis police officers demoted in the wake of the Officer David Bisard crash are now suing the city.
Dep. Chief Ronald Hicks, Cmdr. John Conley and Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce were demoted to the rank of lieutenant following the fatal crash in August 2010.
Prosecutors claim Bisard was drunk when he crashed his squad car into a group of motorcycles, killing one person and injuring two others.
An internal review by the department singled out Hicks, Conley and Pierce as failing to handle the crash scene as a crime scene, resulting in the loss of valuable evidence.
In the lawsuit, the officers accuse Public Safety Director Frank Straub and other city officials of defamation for publicly criticizing the way they handled the crash scene.
"We were thrown under the bus for the mere fact that they needed to take some of the pressure off of them and the department, and what better way to do it than to remove some high officials from the police department, but we did absolutely nothing wrong," Pierce said. "Everything was being done correctly, and for people to say that we would cover up for another officer, I would just say to them that they watch too much TV."
The officers said they suffered due to the department's actions, and so did their families.
"Our family members have been accosted and challenged in the public," Pierce said. "It's pretty embarrassing to walk into a facility or a building or a business and somebody recognizes you and wants to stand there and debate whether you did right or wrong on the job."
Hicks, Conley and Pierce are suing for damages and lost income.
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