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Former Police Officer Arrested on Federal Civil Rights Violation

This news story was published on January 9, 2013.
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WASHINGTON—The Justice Department announced today that Lindrith Tsoodle, 57, a former officer with the Three Affiliated Tribes Police Department, was apprehended and arrested on the Rocky Boy Reservation in Montana yesterday in relation to his indictment on civil rights and obstruction violations.

Tsoodle was indicted on December 13, 2012. The indictment alleges that, on December 6, 2010, Tsoodle, while acting in his capacity as a police officer, assaulted “T.K.” during an arrest while T.K. was handcuffed, thereby violating his civil rights. The indictment alleges that Tsoodle slammed T.K. against a wall, excessively tightened his handcuffs, shoved him into a police car, used Oleoresin Capsicum spray on him, and struck him repeatedly, both with his body and with a baton. The indictment further charges that T.K. suffered bodily injury as a result of Tsoodle’s use of excessive force.

According to the indictment, following the assault on T.K., Tsoodle attempted to convince a witness not to report the incident to other law-enforcement officials and lied to a federal agent about the assault.

Tsoodle is also charged with assaulting “S.L.” during a separate arrest. The indictment alleges that, on November 20, 2010, while S.L. was in handcuffs, Tsoodle twisted his neck, shoved him to the ground, and kneed him in the chest, thereby violating his civil rights.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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