Attorney: Indictment of former Selmer officer ‘small victory’
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SELMER, Tenn. — The attorney for a man claiming he was attacked by a former Selmer police officer said they plan to file a civil lawsuit as well. A McNairy County grand jury indicted Robert Carl Pipkins, 50, on Monday. “He wants his day in court,” attorney D.J. Norton said. “He wants justice to be served.” Norton represents the alleged victim, Broderick Walker. “This will send a message that no matter who you are, if you commit a crime or violate someone’s civil rights that you have to answer for that,” Norton said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Pipkins arrested a man on a traffic-related charge in November 2014. Investigators said Pipkins assaulted and injured the arrestee during the booking process, while the man was handcuffed and being processed at the McNairy County Criminal Justice Center. Norton said his client suffered trauma to the head and eye and emotional distress but is doing well. “To him, it’s more about this not happening to anybody else in the future,” he said. Some people in Selmer remain skeptical. “I don’t believe it at all,” Tim Weatherford said. “It’s just a way that the race is started here in this town, and I don‘t believe it. It‘s gone crazy here.” Some of the people WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spoke with in Selmer said they did not want to share their opinion on camera out of fear of retaliation. Investigators said Pipkins resigned from the department in December. “He was probably one of the best officers,” Weatherford said. “I don’t know him, but he was probably the best officer they had.” Norton said he considers Monday‘s indictment a small victory. “At least a grand jury has found probable cause that the allegations that we will make actually happened,” he said. Pipkins is currently free on a $5,000 bond. WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reached out to the Selmer Police Department and mayor‘s office for comment. A worker at the police department said they had no comment. The mayor‘s office did not return our phone calls.