INDIANAPOLIS – The ACLU of Indiana today sent a letter to Elkhart Mayor, Tim Neese, offering recommendations for responding to misconduct and use of excessive force within the Elkhart Police Department.
“Elkhart’s history of police misconduct requires a thorough examination and policy recommendation by a proven, independent third-party expert such as, the Leadership Conference Education Fund and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Center for Policing Equity or the NYU Policing Project,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana. “We urge Mayor Neese and the Board of Public Safety to abandon any proposal that would establish a review board consisting solely of law enforcement officers.”
According to the letter, the Mayor’s call for an investigation of the Department of Justice is not realistic at this time, because the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has been largely stripped of its power to negotiate consent decrees and other settlement agreements regulating patterns and practices of police enforcement. Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department has pulled back from providing this kind of state investigative reform.
“It is simply not realistic to expect that the Justice Department will be able to carry out the kind of investigation and reform that the Elkhart Police Department needs,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana. “We hope that Mayor Neese will take these recommendations to heart as he works to ensure that Elkhart is a safe and welcoming city, in which all community members can share confidence and trust in their local law enforcement and elected officials.”
The full text of the letter is available here: https://www.aclu-in.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/18_12_04_elkhart_mayor_police.pdf