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Evidentiary hearing Thursday in South Bend police tapes case

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Thursday was supposed to mark the start of a jury trial on the fate of the so-called South Bend Police tapes.

Now, it is unclear whether such a trial will be needed.

Court was in session as the judge heard arguments as to whether anyone who opposes the transfer of the tapes from the city administration to the South Bend Common Council has a legal leg left to stand on.

At issue are five separate cassette tapes that contain nine recorded phone calls off the line of South Bend Police Captain Brian Young.

In a recent order, St. Joseph Circuit Court Judge Steven. L. Hostetler wrote that Young and other officers who were the first to intervene in the suit, now “have no standing as a matter of law.”

Meantime, three new officer intervenors to the suit are not on the tapes according to the testimony of the only person who has listened to them, former police communications director, Karen DePaepe.

If the judge does decide to hand the tapes over to the common council, he was at least asked to issue a stay so that they not be made public until all appeals are exhausted.

The attorney for the intervenors also said such a handover would not bring an end to the case: That the council subpoena only applies to the cassette recordings and it is believed that there are additional captured conversations on a police department hard drive.

Thursday afternoon, Judge Hostetler cancelled a jury selection session scheduled for Friday and said he’d make every effort to issue a ruling by the close of business Friday.

The police tapes suit dates back to 2012.

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