Former Cop Pleads Guilty to Multiple Civil Rights Offenses

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Chase Winkle, a former officer with the Muncie Police Department, in Muncie, Indiana, pleaded guilty Monday to eleven civil rights and obstruction charges. Specifically, Winkle pleaded guilty to five federal civil rights offenses for assaulting arrestees, and to six obstruction offenses for writing false reports to cover up the assaults.“Officer Winkle, the son of the former Chief of Police, confessed to repeated uses of excessive force and obstruction of justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This defendant’s misconduct injured his victims and undermined the police department’s credibility with the community. We hope that this guilty plea sends a message that neither a badge nor familial connections will shield an officer from facing justice for his wrongdoing.”“Today’s guilty pleas are an important step forward as we seek justice for the victims in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers for the Southern District of Indiana. “Our office, the Department of Justice and our federal partners are firmly committed to holding law enforcement officers accountable when they violate their oaths and the civil rights of the people they were sworn to protect.”According to court documents and statements made during the change of plea...