Grad student sues Indiana University for violations of his rights; IUPD Chief Jill Lees dismissed from post

A graduate student at Indiana University (IU) filed a lawsuit against university officials, alleging violations of his constitutional rights and unjust actions taken against him. Moses M. Baryoh, Jr., the plaintiff, demanded a jury trial to address the claims he made against IU and its employees.

Indiana University settled, and Jill Lees was dismissed from her post recently, according to Indiana Public Media:

In the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Baryoh named Austin Magness and Charlotte Watts, both university law enforcement officers, as well as the Board of Trustees of Indiana University and Indiana University itself as defendants. The lawsuit invokes 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Indiana common law as the basis for the allegations.

According to the complaint, the incident took place in September 2022 when Baryoh was a graduate student at IU, pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health in Administration and Behavior while working as a graduate assistant for Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Advocacy at IU Health Center.

The lawsuit detailed that on the day in question, Baryoh had parked his vehicle in a university parking lot, as he typically did when attending class and work. After working out at the Student Recreational Sports Center, he proceeded to exit the parking lot. However, a dispute arose when the parking attendant refused to accept cash and insisted on card payment.

Despite Baryoh’s attempt to pay with cash, the attendant refused, offering to charge him $13.50 instead of the $3 parking fee. Baryoh opted to leave the lot, believing the fee would be charged to his university account. Unknown to him, the attendant and another IU employee called the police.

Shortly thereafter, law enforcement officers Magness and Watts arrived at Baryoh’s residence. Baryoh, unaware of the reason for their visit, remained in the shower when they knocked on his door. When officers identified themselves as police, Baryoh informed them of his shower and requested they wait. Despite this, Magness and Watts left briefly but returned when they thought they had seen someone matching Baryoh’s description.

As the encounter progressed, Magness allegedly became increasingly agitated. Baryoh asked if he was okay, to which Magness replied negatively and insisted on speaking with him. When asked to sit on the curb, Baryoh questioned why and expressed his willingness to cooperate without sitting down.

The situation escalated when Magness swiftly approached Baryoh, grabbed and twisted his arm, and, with the help of Watts, handcuffed him. Baryoh was subsequently taken to jail and charged with unspecified criminal offenses unrelated to the initial parking dispute. These charges were later dismissed.

The complaint alleged violations of Baryoh’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and seeks compensation for the harm he endured, including physical pain, emotional distress, and reputational damage. Additionally, the lawsuit claims that IU’s customs, policies, and practices contributed to the officers’ actions and accuses the university of failing to properly train or supervise its employees.

When IUPD Police Chief Jill Lees’ page disappeared from the website at Indiana University recently. When the Bloomingtonian reached out to  Indiana University for an explanation, this was their answer: “Indiana  University does not comment on personnel matters.”

The Bloomingtonian reached out to an IU spokesperson again after the Indiana Public Media article on the dismissal of Jill Lees, and received the following link:

Here is a link to video of Baryoh’s arrest:

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