SOUTH BEND, Ind.–The head of the South Bend Police Review Board refuses to resign. He’s been asked to quit by both Mayor James Mueller and the head of the Fraternal Order of Police because of his discipline record while he was an Indianapolis Metro Police officer from 2009 to 2016.
The Police Review Board was established to handle police discipline matters.
Joshua Reynolds was suspended at least six times for a variety of reasons, including a forced warrantless search of a home and derogatory social media posts about people in the department.
The suspensions were uncovered in a report by the South Bend Tribune. Since those suspensions became public, Reynolds has been under pressure to quit, but wrote a seven-page letter to the city explaining why he will not resign and explaining his side of the story. Some of his explanations basically amount to, my bad.
“I am dedicated to establishing a fair process that restores a sense of justice in the community and trust in the police. I am dedicated to being transparent and showing the proof through data and evidence,” said Reynolds, in his letter.
Mayor James Mueller said in an interview with South Bend TV station WNDU16, that Reynolds did not offer the information about his suspensions during the interview process, now was he asked to.
“You would think a logical question for an officer applying for this position would be, is there anything during your time as a police officer that might be an issue should you take this position?” said the mayor, who did not hire Reynolds. “I think it’s become clear that that question wasn’t even asked during the interview process.”
In offering an explanation for his actions, Reynolds said, also in an interview with the station, “I posted something on social media. I did – I took took responsibility for those. I took responsibility immediately for those because I knew I was wrong,”
But, he said that he believes nothing on his record makes him unfit to head up the review board.
Harvey Mills, head of the FOP, said the position requires someone with a good image.
“It seems as though he didn’t disclose, you know, what he should have, especially for this board, where they’re asking for full transparency for police officers and their files. I think it’s completely appropriate that he resign,” said Mills.