Elkhart officials propose use of force review board

NOW: Elkhart officials propose use of force review board

ELKHART, Ind.-- Major fallout from excessive force allegations involving two Elkhart police officers in a January 12th incident caught on video.

To prevent it from happening again, Elkhart presented a proposal to create a Use of Force Review Board to the Elkhart Board of Public Safety Tuesday morning.

“When you guys come to us, you swear to us, in your interview that you can protect and respect your entire community,” said Reverend Jean Mayes. She is one of four members. 

Elkhart Assistant Police Chief Todd Thayer, responded saying, “Unfortunately it happened, and we’re looking at the best way that we can prevent this from happening again.”

To prevent an excessive force incident from happening again, Elkhart police believe the answer lies within a Use of Force Review Board made up of five people. All of which are police officers.

“This is an actual review where everything, every specific, will be reviewed and scrutinized," said Assistant Chief Thayer.

Not everyone thinks the proposal is the right one.

“There should not be a police officer on this board at all it should be a civilian board,” said Rev. Mayes.

The board voted to postpone the decision on the grounds that the police department make adjustments.

They also decided to keep Corporal Corey Newlin, and Detective Joshua Titus on paid administrative leave until the first initial criminal court hearing on December 3rd. They are the two officers seen punching a handcuffed man on video. 

“I cannot speak for the board but personally I’m a little uncomfortable putting them on administrative leave,” said Rev. Mayes.

“That’s why, like I mentioned before, we’ll revisit it at the conclusion of their initial hearing," said Assistant Chief Thayer.

One final big item on the agenda at the Board of Public Safety meeting was discussed. 

The board unanimously voted to change the status of Elkhart Detective Hupp's suspension from paid to unpaid. He was accused earlier this year for harassment of his estranged wife.

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