Protestors call for release of police tapes, Mayor Pete responds
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The seven-year-long battle involving the South Bend Police Tapes gained more attention today as advocates called for the release of the recordings.
The City of South Bend has been the subject of controversy for years since the Common Council sued the mayor’s office in 2012 to obtain access to the recordings.
The tapes were recorded through wiretapped phone calls and allegedly contain racist comments made by South Bend police officers. Conversations made about Darryl Boykins, the former Chief of Police, can also allegedly be heard on the tapes.
Recent reports made by The Young Turks contain alleged details of the case, which prompted advocates to continually fight for the release of the tapes.
“And we’re tired of it,” said Katheryn Redding, Community Outreach Team. “We stand together here in solidarity saying that we won’t have it anymore. We want those tapes released,” said Redding.
In 2015, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Common Council, saying that some of the tapes recorded by the South Bend Police did violate the Wiretap Act. The judge also ruled that only one of the five audio tapes was recorded in a legal manner. The City of South Bend worried it could be a crime to release the tapes.
The lawsuit has cost taxpayers more than $2,000,000 over the past seven years.
Local advocacy groups believe the only way for the community to heal is to hear what is on the police tapes.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg told ABC 57 that he believes in transparency, but they still need to follow the law.
“I am as frustrated as anybody as the mayor,” said Buttigieg. “Not being able to hear or know what’s on the recordings or see them come to the public, but if there’s a legal way to do it, I’m confident that this core process will lead to that happening,” said Buttigieg.
Buttigieg told ABC 57 that if there is a legal way for it to be done, it will get done.