Community reacts to federal indictment of Elkhart officers: "The charges are fair"

NOW: Community reacts to federal indictment of Elkhart officers: “The charges are fair“

ELKHART, Ind. --- The two Elkhart police officers caught on video repeatedly punching a handcuffed suspect were indicted by a federal grand jury Friday on charges of civil rights violations. 

Those two officers are Cory Newland and Joshua Titus. They’re accused of using excessive force and violating the suspect’s civil rights. Now, they could face up to ten years in federal prison.

Many in Elkhart are satisfied with the new charges.

“The police are to protect and serve and that’s not protecting or serving,” Donnie Jackson of Elkhart said. “Something like that should never happen.”

Michael Klaire, who also lives in Elkhart, thinks the officers did not act in a professional manner.

“They let their emotions get too involved in it,” Klaire said.

Emmily Covert agrees with both Klaire and Jackson.

“If you showed me that video I would put it in the dictionary next to police brutality,” Covert said.

Federal officials are also condemning the officers’ actions. In a press released from the US Department of Justice, Special agent Grant Mendenhall of the FBI said, “The alleged actions by these individuals went against everything in the oath they took to serve and protect."

Locally, Elkhart Police Chief Chris Snyder is requesting Newland and Titus be moved to unpaid administrative leave as the investigation continues.

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese remains confident that there’s been positive change in the department since this all went down. He said in a statement: “I believe our city and our police department are moving forward in the right direction.”

However, those in the community still thinks trust needs to be rebuilt like Jordan Molteri.

“The charges are fair but the fact that it was hidden for so long is not right and there still should be more done,” Molteri said. “They just brutally hurt this man that didn’t necessarily deserve that.”

If Titus and Newland are convicted they will each face up to 10 years in federal prison as well as fines of $250,000. These new federal charges are on top of the county’s misdemeanor battery charges against the officers back in November.

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