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Tippecanoe County Sheriff asks merit board to terminate lieutenant accused of violating policies

Lt. Randy Martin.jpg
Tippecanoe County Jail inmate dies
Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 21:51:55-05

TIPPECANOE COUNTY — A Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office lieutenant is accused of using excessive force and violating other rules and regulations stemming from the arrests of two people during the early morning hours of Oct. 4, 2020, in a McDonald's parking lot.

In the official charging documents addressed to Lt. Randy Martin from Sheriff Robert Goldsmith, Martin is accused of using excessive force with pepper spray and a tasing weapon against two individuals during the incident.

One misconduct charge claims after pulling his pepper spray from his gun belt, Martin said "who wants to get tased? This is how this is going to work." He then sprayed two people with pepper spray and then commented, "who else wants it?" and told everyone to get "in the f*****g car now."

The two people who were pepper-sprayed were also tased.

The charging documents also state that Martin's account of the report differs from what can be seen on his official body camera footage. In Martin's report, he claims the female was battering her husband when he used the tasing device on her. The charging documents also claim although Martin claims he used the tasing device and spray on the woman because she was battering her husband, he did not arrest her for domestic battery. It also states the body camera video of the incident does not show the woman battering her husband.

In the charging documents, internal investigators also stated the video taken from the incident does not show either of the two individuals involved making any actions toward Martin that would place him "in imminent threat of physical injury."

Due to the alleged inconsistencies between Martin's report and the body cam footage reviewed by internal investigators, they determined Martin included "inaccurate, misleading and improper information" in his report.

The internal investigation also alleges Martin violated use of force, general conduct, conduct unbecoming of a sheriff's office member, pepper spray, taser, and prohibited language policies and procedures during this incident.

Goldsmith asked the Tippecanoe County Sheriff Merit Board to terminate Martin's employment.

In a supplemental letter, Martin is accused of accessing department resources during which time he is alleged to have copied, shared, or "otherwise distributed" his body-worn camera footage on Dec. 23. The alleged violation happened one day after Sheriff Goldsmith sent him the first letter notifying him of the findings in the internal investigation.

WRTV's request for a copy of the body camera footage was denied due to ongoing investigations.

The sheriff's merit board had initially planned a hearing for next week, but both hearings have been continued to a later date, which has not yet been set.