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Sergeant Indicted For Assaulting Handcuffed Man During Traffic Booking

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A Selmer police sergeant has received indictments on behest of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation who allege he physically assaulted a handcuffed man during the booking of his November 13, 2014 arrest.

Attorneys for Broderick Walker say he was attacked by now former sergeant Robert Carl Pipkins while he was being processed into the McNairy County Justice Center. A McNairy County grand jury indicted Pipkins last week.

Attorney D.J. Norton says Walker suffered trauma to the head and eye, emotional distress, and plans to file a civil lawsuit.

“To him, it’s more about this not happening to anybody else in the future,” Norton said. “He wants justice to be served. He wants his day in court.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says Pipkins arrested Walker on a traffic-related charge last November before assaulting and injuring the arrestee while he was handcuffed and helpless.

It isn’t clear why exactly the officer attacked the detained man, and surveillance video, which was presumably recorded inside the jail, has not been commented on or released.

Norton says he considers last weeks indictment a small victory.

“At least a grand jury has found probable cause that the allegations that we will make actually happened,” he said. “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.”

Pipkins has faced disciplinary actions in the past.

In 1991 he was issued a warning and 90-day probation after being involved in a disturbance with his ex-wife while on duty. In 2000, he was suspended without pay for two days after failing to follow proper radio procedure.

In August 2001 Jackson, Tennessee Police arrested and charged him with domestic vandalism but that charge was later dismissed.

He resigned from the Selmer PD two days after the incident, but department files show he worked on and off for Selmer Police until this latest incident in 2014.

Officials have offered no comment on the indictments and Pipkins is currently free on a $5,000 bond.