Accused in Elkhart

Justice in an Indiana County

Indiana’s first man to be pardoned based on innocence was tried in Elkhart County. But that troubling case doesn’t stand alone. In a county known for cranking out RVs, there’s a deeper story about how justice is carried out by police, prosecutors and judges.

A New Study Prompted by Our Reporting Confirms Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department Lacks Accountability

Elkhart community members viewed police officers as “cowboys” who participated in “rough treatment of civilians,” contributing to what the study called a “trust deficit.”

Why Are Cops Around the World Using This Outlandish Mind-Reading Tool?

The creator of Scientific Content Analysis, or SCAN, says the tool can identify deception. Law enforcement has used his method for decades, even though there’s no reliable science behind it. Even the CIA and FBI have bought in.

Police Footage: The Interrogation That Led to Ricky Joyner’s Murder Charge

During more than two hours of interrogation, Joyner repeatedly said he wanted to talk to a lawyer. But police kept questioning him, even after he asked to leave.

The Questionable Conviction, and Re-Conviction, of Ricky Joyner

Juries convicted Ricky Joyner twice. Once in 1994 and again in 1998, after he won his first appeal. Prosecutors called the case cut and dried. But we looked through transcripts, reports, video and more. Should Joyner’s conviction stand?

Two Indiana Police Officers Face Federal Charges in Videotaped Beating of Handcuffed Man

The charges come after ProPublica and the South Bend Tribune exposed details of the abuse and published the video. “The alleged actions by these individuals went against everything in the oath they took to serve and protect,” the FBI said.

Detective in Elkhart, Indiana, Wrongful Conviction Case Dies in Apparent Suicide

Steve Rezutko, the former Elkhart police detective, was central in an investigation that led to a high-profile pair of wrongful convictions.

In Elkhart, Indiana, Another Conviction Gets Tossed. The Star Witness Was Hypnotized, a Fact the Prosecutor Concealed.

The prosecutor who failed to disclose the use of hypnosis is now a judge. He knew the hypnotist from the Kiwanis Club.

Long-Lost Records Surface in Wrongful Conviction Case, Detailing Lead Detective’s Fondling of Informants

The reasons for the Elkhart, Indiana, detective’s forced resignation have been a mystery for years. This month, the records were finally turned over. An attorney wants the city punished for the delay.

Elkhart’s Mayor Says He Won’t Run for Re-election, Amid Revelations of Misconduct in the Police Ranks

Since November, two police officers have been charged with misdemeanor battery; news reports have detailed the promotion of many officers with disciplinary records; and the police chief has resigned.

Elkhart’s Acting Police Chief Has Previously Been Demoted, Reprimanded and Suspended

Ed Windbigler was forced out as police chief this week. The interim head, Todd Thayer, was demoted in 2013 for saying an officer who opened fire could now check that off his “bucket list,” according to disciplinary records.

Stung by Controversies, Police Chief Resigns in Elkhart, Indiana

Ed Windbigler’s resignation as chief follows a videotaped beating of a handcuffed man and reports by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica that he had promoted officers with disciplinary histories.

An Elkhart Police Officer Was Convicted of Drunken Driving — Then the Chief Promoted Him

Last year, Chief Ed Windbigler said he doubted the case against the officer would stick. After the officer pleaded guilty, the chief didn’t discipline him. This year, Windbigler promoted him to detective without telling an oversight board.

Elkhart City Council Members Support Investigation of Police Department

If the Department of Justice won’t investigate, council members say they would pay for an outside investigation into misconduct by Elkhart police.

With Trump’s Justice Department Retreating, Who Will Now Police the Police?

The Department of Justice is moving away from taking on abuses by local law enforcement. This is what that means for Elkhart, Indiana.

Elkhart, Indiana, Police Chief Suspended for 30 Days Following Release of Beating Video

The mayor disciplined the chief after revelations by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica about the city’s troubled police force. But the mayor made no public announcement, leaving people, including the chair of the city’s civilian oversight commission, to wonder where the chief was.

“They Should Have Been Fired on the Spot”: In Elkhart, Indiana, the Talk Is All About the Police and a Video

At a town hall meeting, the Police Department’s second in command defended his officers and criticized reporters. “What’s all this digging?” he said, while accusing the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica of an “ambush” for calling officers to ask for their comment.

Indiana State Police Turn Down Elkhart Mayor’s Request for Broad Review of City’s Police Department

Stories by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica revealed Elkhart police officers’ misconduct and disciplinary histories. The state police were asked to investigate, but say that’s the job of the U.S. Justice Department.

Who Runs This Police Department? Lots of Officers Who’ve Been Reprimanded or Even Suspended.

The Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department has 34 supervisors. Most of them have been disciplined for carelessness, incompetence or misconduct — including the chief.

Nearly All the Officers in Charge of an Indiana Police Department Have Been Disciplined — Including the Chief Who Keeps Promoting Them

Of the 34 supervisors in the Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department, 28 have been disciplined. Fifteen have been suspended. Seven have been involved in fatal shootings. Three have been convicted of criminal charges.

How a Police Beating in Elkhart, Indiana Unfolded

Reporting by ProPublica and the South Bend Tribune revealed a history of corruption and police abuse in Elkhart. This video, obtained through a public records request, shows police officers punching and kicking a handcuffed man.

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