South Bend Common Council tables mental health resolution

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend Common Council members indefinitely tabled a bill proposal Monday night.

The resolution aimed to implement a mental health crisis response team within the South Bend Fire Department.

The bill was sponsored by South Bend Common Council members Henry Davis Jr. and Lori Hamann.

Some council members claimed it wasn’t filed correctly, but Davis and Hamann say otherwise.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Mayor James Mueller spoke out about the The Mental Health Crisis Response Resolution.

“We believe it is premature and perhaps even reckless by the bill’s authors to put forth such statements that haven’t been confirmed by the investigation or other evidence,” said South Bend Mayor James Mueller.

This bill coming after the death of Dante Kittrell, a South Bend man who was fatally shot by South Bend police last month after allegedly threatening suicide and pointing a gun at officers.

“That’s serious. With all that we are experiencing in our country and with all that is happening police departments being blamed for not acting,” said South Bend Common Council Member Canneth Lee.

Officers and critical incident negotiators attempted to de-escalate the situation for nearly 40 minutes, but were unsuccessful.

During a committee meeting Monday night, South Bend Common Council members and residents had a lot of mixed feelings about this bill.

“The police are here to prevent crime, that’s their job okay? Not to be dad’s, not to do all this kind of stuff... but since we are going to implement it and add it, let’s add it your agenda as well. So, I think this proposal should be written over, including all leadership here... because you all are responsible for this city,” said resident Komaneach Wheeler.

“Should we push forward with mental health advances in our community and reforms identified in policing recommendations. Yes! Is this resolution the best way to go about it? No!,” said Rachel Tomas Morgan, South Bend Common Council.

“But the content and the essence and the spirit of this resolution is a very timely one,” said South Bend Common Council member Karen White.

“There just seems to be a lack of political will. A lack of political desire. A lack of leadership as it relates to issues like this... It should have happened right now and that this council needs to learn how to take on the big issues and respond to the community’s wishes... For me to be disappointed would be for me to have an expectation for some of my colleagues. I have no expectation of any of my colleagues at this point. I haven’t for a while,” said Davis.

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