SOUTH BEND, Ind.–Many cities have their stories about the reasons they are updating their police use of force policies. In Indianapolis, it’s the story of “Sean” Reed, which has not yet been resolved. In South Bend, it’s the story of Eric Logan, a Black man who was shot by police last summer.
South Bend Mayor James Mueller has proposed some changes to the city’s use of force policy that include some of the same ones adopted recently by Indianapolis, including a ban on the use of choke holds and an emphasis on de-escalating situations.
“Police officers, they’re doing their job. They get it. They know the standard. They know the law. They know what they’re supposed to do. The residents look at it and say, what does this mean? So, there has to be that bridge and so elected officials, the mayor and our Common Council members have to be the ones to do it,” said Mueller at a Thursday news conference.
He said he understands that people in the community want and should have input and is making that happen through a website and a public meeting next week.
“Policy is a bunch of words in the manual. But, what matters is what happens when officers go and respond to calls.”
Mueller said before drafting the new policy, he went door to door, talking to people.
In Indianapolis, the public will have input in a revised merit board, and will actually have a say in disciplinary matters, with representation on that board.
The changes Mueller is suggestion, which take up eight pages, were part of what was suggested by a consulting firm over the past year.
The Common Council must approve any changes.