Decision to take South Bend police tapes case to trial pushed back

NOW: Decision to take South Bend police tapes case to trial pushed back

SOUTH BEND — A decision on whether the South Bend police tapes case will be taken to trial, and if they will ultimately be released to the public, has been pushed back again.

Officials said in court Wednesday that judges will have to look into whether some of the recordings violated the Federal Wiretap Act. The deadline for that decision has been set for September 10, 2019.

If the court finds violations with the Federal Wiretap Act, the case will end. If not, it will likely be taken to trial.

"If a determination is made that the Federal Wiretap Act or the constitutional argument prohibit the disclosure of the tapes, then that's the end of the case," said attorney Dan Pfeifer, who is representing the police officers involved.

The case surrounds phone calls that were secretly recorded inside South Bend Police headquarters around eight years ago, and whether releasing them would violate the rights of the officers who were recorded.

Some of the officers were allegedly heard making racist or illegal comments.

A judge has already ruled that some of the tapes were recorded illegally, and should not be released, but all sides continue to argue over the remaining recordings.

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