Council looks to get copy of Teachman ISP report - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Council looks to get copy of Teachman ISP report


Lieutenant David Newton broke his silence Monday about an incident that led to an investigation of his boss, Police Chief, Ron Teachman.

"I called on the radio that I needed assistance, but received no response on the radio," said Lt. Newton at Monday's Common Council meeting.

The assistance Newton is referring to was for handling a large fight outside the Martin Luther King Junior Center back in April. He says a city employee told him people were getting guns out of their cars.

"There were 50 people in the parking lot participating in this fight. There were 60 children behind me playing on the playground and approximately 40 people playing basketball on the outside courts," said Newton.

Newton never mentioned Chief Ron Teachman in his message to the Council, but community activists say the Chief was inside the center at the time and didn't respond to the call for backup.

The ISP investigated, handed over its report to the mayor, and the mayor cleared Teachman of any wrong-doing.

But Newton wants to see the report for himself.

"I am asking for the city Council to step in on my behalf and use all possible resources to make this report available for my review," says Newton.

Council President Derek Dieter says he believes Newton has the right to the see the report. And he says the Council is already working on it.

"The state statute is clear that we do have investigative powers, we do have subpoena powers and this fits into that. Our attorney is just looking to see what the proper legal step to the Council to follow. We will meet with the whole Council to seek a vote on how people want to see how we want to move forward with this and then we'll go from there," says Dieter.

In the meantime, Dieter, who is also an officer with South Bend Police says between this, and the controversy over tape recordings and the resignation of the previous Chief, Darryl Boykins, a cloud has been cast over the Police Department, and perhaps the city.

"I think with everything that's gone on, it's pretty confusing to the public. I think it is an embarrassment to the city with the way things have gone to this point. And hopefully, like I said, we can get to the resolution and take care of things and get back to business," says Dieter.

Dieter believes the Council may know as early as next week about how they will proceed. He says a majority of the Council thinks that report should be made public.

During Lieutenant Newton's request to the Council Monday night, he mentioned displeasure towards a comment that Mayor Pete Buttigieg made regarding the incident, saying the whole thing was a molehill made into a mountain.

"This statement shows that the Mayor has no idea the danger we face daily. This statement is a slap in the face to all current law enforcement officers, past or retired officers, and the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in the line of duty."

We reached out to the Mayor's Office today to get his response. While he was out of town today, we did receive this statement:

"The Mayor has enormous respect for anyone who wears the uniform, especially the men and women of our Police Department. His earlier remarks were not directed at any officer, but expressed his frustration at the negativity and politicization surrounding this and other police matters in South Bend." --- Kara Kelly, spokeswoman, Office of Mayor Pete Buttigieg

We also asked again if this report would be released and the Mayor's spokeswoman said again that the city doesn't release details on personnel matters except as required by law.

So, we'll have to wait and see if the Council can use subpoena power on this.

We also reached out to Chief Teachman. We were told that he was unavailable for comment, but if we do hear from him, we'll certainly pass on any response we get.

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