UPDATE: Officers sue over recorded phone calls - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Officers sue over recorded phone calls

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A new lawsuit has been filed in the going controversy over those infamous South Bend Police tapes.  This one pits several police officers against the city.  That's along with former police chief Daryl Boykins and Former Communications Director Karen DePaepe and her attorney.

Those officers say their rights were violated because those phone conversations were recorded.  They say Boykins recorded them to find out who was loyal.  

Former Chief Darryl Boykins' attorney Tom Dixon reacted Wednesday night to the latest lawsuit in the tale of the tapes.

The plaintiffs, which include former and current SBPD cops, claim Boykins recorded phone lines to find out whether his Division Chiefs were loyal to him, and to punish anyone who might be trying to seek his job as top cop. 

"I think if you took a poll of police officers on the South Bend Police Department, most of them would respond that that's a laughable suggestion," Dixon tells FOX 28.  "That's just simply not the way that Chief Boykins ever operated."

The suit also claims Boykins told several officers that the recordings captured "racial slurs about him," but that later Boykins told Division Chief Steve Richmond that he did not hear him say any racial slurs on the tapes, and that Boykins quote "merely said so because his feelings were hurt."

So what IS on the tapes?  Well, the public is still in the dark because of the ongoing legal battle over whether the tapes can be released. 

"There's nothing illegal about that. It's in the public interest to know what's on those lines."

Mayor Pete Buttigieg who demoted Chief Boykins in the midst of the recordings saga reacted Wednesday to the new lawsuit, which again claims that Boykins was out to get cops who weren't loyal. 

"These allegations make it all the more important for us to concentrate on finding outstanding new police leadership... Our officers and citizens deserve leadership that puts the focus where it belongs: fighting crime and serving our diverse community," Buttigieg said in a statement to FOX28.

Dixon reacted to the mayor's statement Wednesday.  "Well they had that leadership, then the mayor made a huge mistake and has been recalcitrant to admit that was a mistake he made, and that leadership was here, and was Chief Boykins," Dixon said. 

Boykins has filed an official discrimination complaint with the South Bend Human Rights Commission.

The South Bend Common Council has subpoenaed the tapes, but the mayor has not released them.  He is waiting on a federal court decision on whether the tapes can be released.

You can read the entire lawsuit claim here.

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