Council trying to make Teachman investigation public
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend Police Lt. David Newton spoke out at Tuesday night's council meeting asking council members to get a hold of an Indiana State Police investigation into allegations Police Chief Ron Teachman failed to back Newton up when a fight broke out at the Martin Luther King Center in April.
ABC57 57 reached out to Teachman to see if he would release that report, but he said he didn’t have the report and that the only person who had a copy was the mayor.
When we asked the mayor for the report he said it would not be released.
“To protect the privacy of all city employees, the city does not release details of personnel matters except as required by law,” said Mayor Buttigieg’s press secretary Kara Kelly.
Newton's complaint led to the ISP investigation. He wants to see the report and asked the council to release it.
"I am the officer that responded to an armed fight at the center and received no back-up from our chief,” said Newton.
Newton described the tense situation he was put in and says the mayor's casual response was “a slap in the face”
"I was very disturbed about the characterization that the mayor made that this incident was a mountain being made out of a mole hill-any incident we get involved in as our police officers could be our last,” said Newton.
But Mayor Buttieg's press secretary released this statement defending his remarks.
"Mayor Buttigieg's earlier remarks were not directed at any officer, but expressed his frustration at the negativity and politicization surrounding this and other police matters in South Bend,” said Kara Kelly.
President of the Common council Derek Deter says he is working to make that I.S.P. report public.
"We will check with our council attorney and she is checking now for the proper way for the council to look into the matter,” said Dieter.
As a fellow officer himself, Dieter says he agrees with Newton that any armed incident that an officer responds to is no laughing matter.
"For anyone to say just because nothing happened is probably pretty ignorant to the circumstances of police work, of the calls that we get,” said Dieter.
The mayor's press secretary also said the mayor would like to address Newton's comments in person when he returns from his conference in California.