Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

South Bend council finally seats police community review board

Cheryl Ashe, recently appointed to South Bend's new Community Police Review Board.
Cheryl Ashe, recently appointed to South Bend's new Community Police Review Board.

More than three years after the South Bend Common Council created it, the council this week seated the nine-member police Community Review Board.

At its meeting Monday, the council approved the first nine members of the police Community Review Board. They will investigate complaints of police misconduct in cases where people aren’t satisfied with how the police department has handled their complaints.

One of the members, appointed by Council Member Rachel Tomas-Morgan, is Cheryl Ashe. Ashe is a 72-year-old retired reference librarian who worked for decades at the Saint Joe County Public Library.

Ashe says she volunteered to serve because she thinks African-Americans who don’t trust the police need a place other than the police to report misconduct. She learned that from stories she heard at the library.

Ashe says it was common for Black patrons to tell her that police had confiscated their phones during traffic stops. Police apparently were annoyed the individuals were talking on the phone during a stop, while Ashe says African Americans simply want to notify their loved ones that they’ve been pulled over.

They would come into the library and ask her whether police were allowed to take their phones. Ashe did some research and could find no case law on the topic so she advised them to file a complaint with police, but she said they never would.

"In a situation like that now, people could go to this board and file a complaint there because they're not, hopefully they won't be afraid," Ashe said.

In addition to Ashe, who was nominated by Rachel Tomas-Morgan, named to the board were:

  • Sherria Williams, nominated by Canneth Lee
  • Komonique Thomas, nominated by Ophelia Gooden-Rodgers
  • Kelly Johnson, nominated by Sharon McBride
  • LuElla Webster, nominated by Troy Warner
  • Dennis James Givens, nominated by Sherry Bolden-Simpson
  • Clara Davis, nominated by Sheila Niezgodski
  • Joseph Adams, nominated by Karen White, and
  • Otis Davis, nominated by Oliver Davis Jr.



Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).