Indiana

Indiana Cops are Charged with Federal Civil Rights Violations for Beating a Handcuffed Man

The Elkhart Police Department has had several misconduct issues throughout the years.

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|||Screenshot via YouTube/ProPublica
Screenshot via YouTube/ProPublica

In January 2018, a then 29-year-old Mario Guerrero Ledesma was taken into police custody in Elkhart, Indiana. During booking, Ledesma was placed into a chair and handcuffed. He then spat in the direction of Cory Newland and Joshua Titus, two officers with the Elkhart Police Department. Newland and Titus, both in their 30s, proceeded to repeatedly punch Ledesma while he was still handcuffed.

On Friday, the Department of Justice announced via a press release that Newland and Titus were being charged for the excessive force they used against Ledesma while he was handcuffed and in their care. Both men face a single count of deprivation of rights under color of law.

"Maintaining integrity in the criminal justice system by investigating and prosecuting police officers who step out of bounds with the law, while working with, training and promoting good relationships with law enforcement who operate within the law are important functions of my Office," said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch in the press release.

The South Bend Tribune and ProPublica obtained a video of the incident with a FOIA request.

Elkhart cops have a long history of abuse and misconduct. Newland himself had been involved in several questionable incidents prior to the beating. In one 2011 incident, Newland received a three-day suspension after attempting to contact a woman whom he arrested for having sex with her boyfriend in her car while at the park. He sent her a Facebook friend request and several text messages to see if she wanted to "hang out."

Police Chief Ed Windbigler was suspended and eventually resigned last winter following the beating. His suspension was based in part on his failure to report the incident in a timely manner and an understating of the events that transpired. Windbigler's tenure was also marred by poor tracking of officer misconduct and a poor record of disciplinary action. Several supervisors were promoted under Windbigler despite the Police Merit Commission not being made aware of their disciplinary records, as is protocol.

The State Police previously declined a request from the mayor to review both the beating and the Elkhart Police Department. Instead, they recommended that the mayor get the DOJ involved.

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  1. “The State Police previously declined a request from the mayor to review both the beating and the Elkhart Police Department. Instead, they recommended that the mayor get the DOJ involved.”

    The State Police are literally playing good cop / bad cop?

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  2. What about the other cops who stood by and did nothing to stop it. they should be charged with dereliction of duty to protect people under their protection.

    1. There was 4 seconds of punching, within a second or two you can clearly hear someone say “All right all right all right. STOP”.

      1. Could you clearly hear someone say “you’re under arrest”?

      2. That’s 3 1/2 seconds too long

  3. “He then spat in the direction of …”

    Can the judge-jury-and -executioner ALSO punish ye for FARTING in their general direction?!?

    Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!!!!

  4. They’ll learn next time to uncuff a guy before double-teaming him.

    1. They ain’t that brave.

  5. What is the recommended way to stop a man from spitting on you?

    1. Cops are big on procedure. If they have one, and followed it, the procedure itself should be put in jail. If they didn’t follow it, they should be in jail. If they have no procedure, they should do nothing.

    2. Stop doing gay porn.

    3. Put a spit mask on him.

      Only problem is, by the time you find out he’s a spitter, it’s usually too late.

      1. Sorry, I’m HTML challenged…

        Spit mask = https://www.handcuffwarehouse.com/paspsh.html

    4. Assault charge.

    5. I don’t know. I DO know it’s not this.

    6. Well, doing a blood draw to check him for contagious disease springs to mind. That would have been A) painful and B) justified.

    7. “What is the recommended way to stop a man from spitting on you?”

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  7. Yep, the usual wicked cops. I will not say all cops are bad, but more of them are than are not. Just look at the UBER CORRUPT Carver County, Minnesota police force if you don’t believe me. The county prosecutor (better named a PERSECUTOR) is as crooked as they come, and so are “her” (she really thinks they are her robots) cops. God damn the lot of them.

  8. An old friend with LAPD said they had a simple solution for spitters, they took the bag that housed snow chains out of the trunk and put it over the head of the offender.
    Did I mention that they never washed it?

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