Iowa Cops Are Actually Suing A Teenager After He Posts Video Of His Wrongful DUI Arrest

The teenager sued the police department first with claims that officers had no right to accuse him of driving intoxicated.

Tayvin Galanakis Tayvin Galanakis / YouTube

An Iowa teen is currently in a legal battle with local police officers after taking to social media with evidence that he had been wrongfully arrested.

Taking to both YouTube and Facebook, Tayvin Galanakis, a 19-year-old from Newton, Iowa, posted the body-camera footage of Newton police pulling him over in August 2022, which shows that he had done nothing wrong.

Iowa police pulled the teenager over and accused him of driving while under the influence.

A little after midnight on August 28, 2022, Galanakis was pulled over by Newton police officers Nathan Winters and Lt. Chris Wing for using his high-beam headlights while he was on the way home from hanging out with a friend. 


According to Newton Daily News, Winters claimed that the 19-year-old was fumbling around when trying to retrieve proof of registration, which made him suspect that the young man had been drinking. Winters also admitted that he smelled alcohol on Galanakis and that he displayed signs of impairment, including slurred speech and bloodshot watery eyes.

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However Galanakis, a freshman football player at William Penn University, adamantly denied drinking alcohol or driving under the influence and agreed to take a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer test ended up showing that Galanakis had a blood-alcohol level of 0.00, but Winters still read him the Miranda Warning without showing him the results. He then asked Galanakis if he had smoked weed before getting in his car.

“Tonight?” Winters can be heard asking in the body-cam footage shared by Galanakis.

“No weed tonight, man. I’ve had no weed tonight. Why do you think it’s tonight? I blew zeros so now you’re trying to think I smoke weed? That’s what’s going on. You can’t do that, man. You really can’t do that. Is he allowed to do that?” Galanakis replied, turning to Wing. “So I blow zeros and he suspects drugs now?”

Galanakis even tried to explain to the officers that because he plays football, he's subjected to random drug tests in order to keep his position on the team, but both officers refused to listen and asked if he'd be comfortable taking a drug test at the station. At first, Galanakis agreed, but then changed his mind, which prompted the officers to arrest him.


The teen consented to a drug test once at the station, and when there were no findings of drugs or alcohol in his system, he was released.

Galanakis ended up filing a lawsuit against the police officers and posted footage from his arrest on social media.

A few weeks after his arrest, Galanakis uploaded body-camera footage of the arrest to social media and filed a suit where he alleged that the officers had "no reasonable suspicion" to administer field sobriety tests when they pulled him over, per the Newton Daily News.

In many of his social-media postings, Galanakis made several accusations, alleging that he “basically got kidnapped then raped by the NPD all night,” and claimed that Winters had been “convicted” of domestic abuse for beating up a girlfriend. It was previously reported that Winters' former girlfriend filed a protective order against him to refrain him from committing any further acts of abuse or threats of abuse.

Although no criminal charges were filed against Winters, the act of domestic abuse was implied through the order itself.


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In response to Galanakis' suit, Newton police officers filed one of their own.

Due to Galanakis' comments and the body-cam footage posted, Winters and Wing are now part of a defamation counterclaim to the teen's initial federal lawsuit. The officers’ counterclaim alleges Galanakis defamed them and invaded their privacy when he posted the videos of his arrest to social media and appended to those videos his own commentary on the incident.

The city of Newton maintains that Winters and Wing did not violate any of the standard operating procedures during a traffic stop and subsequent arrest, also alleging that Galanakis took advantage of the publicity generated from the false and defamatory statements by using them to earn income.

Furthermore, the city claimed that both Winters and Wing have suffered and will continue to suffer mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of community reputation, and loss of employability. Galanakis, on the other hand, is not phased by the response and Newton Mayor Mike Hansen's decision to move the suit to federal court.


In an interview with Newton Daily News, Galanakis admitted, "This is usually what I get from the negative side, like, ‘The officers did everything right. Blah, blah, blah. You’re not going to win in court. They handled everything perfectly. You’re mouthing off. That’s why you got arrested.’ They all sound the same."

Galanakis' case is a symbol of a broader issue of public distrust in law enforcement.

Many people have similar stories of alleged misconduct, racial profiling, and abuse of power by police officers across the country. These types of things only raise questions about police accountability and transparency. Psychology Today explains that this overwhelming sense of distrust is directly correlated with a lack of neutrality and fairness and ultimately a lack of respect shown by those tasked to "protect and serve."

Incidents like the one Galanakis exposed on social media highlight the growing sense of distrust with law enforcement and a responsibility to have a closer look at many police practices. There needs to be more open dialogues and examinations into how we can work toward bridging the gap between the public and those who are supposed to serve and protect.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.