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New voices in 'South Bend police tapes' case

In an ongoing saga centered around allegations that some South Bend police officers had illegal and unethical conversations over the phone which were recorded on tape, new faces have been added to the lawsuit.

“Three additional officers moved to intervene,” said Bob Palmer, the South Bend Common Council Attorney.

New voices have intervened in the nearly 6 year-long South Bend police tapes case. City administration was given 30 days to file an amendment on their counter-claim requesting that the city have the option to turn in the tapes to the court and let the court decide what to do with them. Since then, the city chose not to make any amendments. But now, three new police officers have since stepped in to make sure the positions of police officers in general are heard by the court during trial.

“The judge ruled that, despite the fact that they filed the motion to intervene 5 and a half years after the case started, that there would be no harm in letting them come in and basically take a place holder position of police officers and the public in letting their position be heard,” said Palmer.

I’m told it shouldn’t cause another delay in the case.

Reporter Question: “What does that mean for the longevity of it?”

“Probably nothing. Because the new 'interveners' are not asking for monetary damages and there appears to be no reason to have any additional discovery,” said Palmer.

Palmer says the only process they have left is to determine how the case is going to be presented to the judge.

“Whether that’s going to be in a whole new trial, some kind of abbreviated trial, or possibly just submitting written material,” said Palmer.

But unless all parties can agree here, Palmer says the case will probably end up in a whole new trial, hopefully soon.

“We’re not talking about another 5 years, I would hope that by the end of summer/early fall we could get that block of  3 to 5 days and try the case but hopefully we won’t get to that point,” said Palmer.

The only deadline that’s out there right now is for the South Bend Common Council. They have approximately two weeks to respond to these new developments. Stick with ABC57 news for updates.

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