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City Of South Bend Releases Second Draft Of Use Of Force Policy

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City of South Bend

On Thursday, the City of South Bend released a second draft of its Use of Force Policy that incorporates feedback from community members and other stakeholders.

Mayor James Mueller said the new draft mostly adds clarification to the first draft, which was released in August.

“There were suggested changes on all sides, and sometimes they were at odds with each other," Mueller said. "This draft is trying to find the balance of what’s right for our community.”

Those changes include emphasizing that the use of deadly force is a last resort and specifying how often officers will receive training on the use of force. They also include adding a caveat on chokeholds – while generally prohibited and not taught in training, the policy states that they can be used “when deadly force is required to preserve the life of the officer or others.”

The city will hold a virtual feedback meeting on the policy next week, which Mueller hopes will offer further clarity on the changes in this draft.

“We weren’t able to take all the comments and implement them," he said. "We want to make clear those folks have an opportunity to understand why decisions were made or weren’t able to be made in many cases.”

That meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
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