5:02 AM EDT, April 4, 2012
I always liked now former South Bend police chief Darryl Boykins. I thought he was a cop’s cop and a guy who is very proud of his profession. A couple of years ago we were on the dais together for an event on the west side. You could tell he was a no nonsense kind of man, and he sure looked good in his dress uniform.
That being said, like most other concerned citizens of South Bend I have a lot of questions about why he was relieved of his duties and demoted but, for now, I stand behind our new mayor. And it is beneath contempt, for now, that a majority of the city council has done something that is clearly at the very least premature and possibly foolish. In effect they shot first and decided to ask questions later. Firing off a letter to the mayor on official council letterhead was wrong and has the smell of some kind of power play.
What we don’t know was behind this decision far outweighs what we do know, and until all of the facts are in, if they ever are made public, is paramount before anyone starts mouthing off.
What we are being told is that the federal government is investigating “improper” taping of telephone calls at the police department. The Feds are notorious for putting a lid on information that might bring some illumination to the general public and my guess is that someone involved in the investigation made a courtesy call to the mayor.
I have no idea what they mean by “improper” recordings. Of course the usual calls to police are recorded. How many times have you heard police 911 calls on your local news? But do they mean wiretapping? That is far different and very dicey. A wiretap has to be approved by a super-secret panel of judges.
My bottom line is we just don’t know right now, and there is even a chance we may never know. I can’t tell you how many times when I was in the news business that I would badger the Feds to give out more information so we could clarify the situation for the public. I would have had a better chance of getting blood out of turnip and then, usually months later, there would be a brief statement released that the investigation is over and no indictments handed down. Thanks a lot.
Only two members of the South Bend council did not sign that ill-conceived letter, Gavin Ferlic and Fred Ferlic. Fred is a doctor and he said with common sense, “I can’t treat the patient until I have the diagnosis.” And he also put the duties of the council in the proper perspective when he said this is a decision between the mayor and the chief of police.
Wow, common sense on the common council. What will happen next? I don’t know, to tell you the truth but, at some point, the Feds need to tell us what they were up to. That is only fair to the mayor, the former chief and the good citizens of South Bend.
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