Federal court will not dismiss police tapes case - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Federal court will not dismiss police tapes case

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A federal court will decide whether phone conversations recorded by the South Police Department can be released and to who.

The South Bend Common Council had requested the federal case be dismissed.  They wanted the decision to be made locally.

The situation revolves around tapes that were part of a federal regulation that led to Police Chief Darryl Boykins' demotion.  Communications Director Karen DePaepe was also let go and several lawsuits are underway regarding the city's actions.

Boykins is currently suing the city, saying his demotion was not over the tapes, but due to his race.  Another lawsuit is also underway pitting several police officers against the city.

A local case is also underway in the effort to get the tapes released.  A county judge has said that the federal court has jurisdiction over the matter.   The judge will not rule until at least February 15 and only if no ruling from the federal court has come down.

The tapes controversy has led to protests from multiple organizations.  Some are simply calling for the tapes to be released, while others have called for the mayor to resign.

Interim City Attorney Aladean DeRose is encouraged by Tuesday's ruling.  "This decision is a first step toward achieving what the Mayor has sought all along: a federal court ruling on whether the recordings can be released without violating the law," DeRose said in a written statement.

FOX28 News continues to follow this developing story and will have more as new information becomes available.

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