Board Of Public Safety Approves Changes To South Bend's Police Use Of Force Policy
After months of review, the South Bend Board of Public Safety approved changes to the city’s Police Use of Force Policy Wednesday.
The decision comes two years to the day after Eric Logan, a Black man, was shot and killed by a white South Bend police officer.
Speaking at the Board of Public Safety meeting, local Faith in Indiana leader Pastor Claval Hunter said the revised policy is a victory for the community.
“It brings us one step closer to the goal of having a police force that respects our rights, treats all as equals, and makes sure we return home to our loved ones safely,” Hunter said.
The use of force policy was first proposed in August 2020, and went through rounds of revisions and community feedback before coming before the Board of Public Safety this February.
The board approved the new policy on the condition that it be revised within sixty days, after local activist groups called for stronger language around the use of excessive and deadly force.
Faith in Indiana leaders who helped make those changes say the revised policy prioritizes de-escalation, has a “clear and high threshold” for the use of deadly force and requires officers to intervene when they see other officers using excessive force.
“Today’s vote demonstrates that we the people – we the people – have the power to rewrite the rules to make this a safe community for all of us,” Hunter said.
Hunter said at the meeting the group plans to work with the mayor and the police department to make sure officers are adequately trained on the new policy.
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