Ex-Panhandle NSP Trooper Charged With Civil Rights Violation In 2016 Excessive Force Incident

 A former Nebraska state trooper whose excessive force case in Sioux County helped lead Gov Pete Ricketts to fire State Patrol Superintendent Col Brad Rice 3 years ago has been charged with violating the civil rights of the victim.

       U-S Attorney Joe Kelly says Lindsey Bixby of Ellsworth was charged Friday with deprivation of rights, a federal offense.

      The incident occurred in March 2016 when Bixby allegedly hit a drunk driver from Colorado with the end of his service rifle after the man refused to get on the ground following a pursuit.

.     Sioux County prosecutors did not charge Bixby and the incident didn’t become public for more than a year. Bixby resigned from the State Patrol after a video of the incident was widely circulated. 

       The driver who was hit by the rifle butt was later sentenced to two years probation for misdemeanors related to the pursuit.

       Gov Ricketts fired Colonel Rice after an investigation found State Patrol command personnel had tried to influence the outcome of at least 4 internal reviews, including the Bixby case.

        The investigation also found the agency failed to disclose a dozen alleged cases of trooper misconduct and to properly investigate multiple accusations of sexual harassment.