UPDATE: Muncie Police Administration and the Muncie Police Merit Commission met Thursday night. The merit commission unanimously voted to remove Chase Winkle from the Muncie Police Department.
MUNCIE, Ind. — The Muncie Police Department is preparing to take the steps necessary to fire an officer who admitted to unjustly punching, kicking and tasering arrestees before lying about it in reports.
The announcement comes after Chase Winkle pleaded guilty to 11 excessive force and false reporting charges Monday. Court documents in the case detail the stories of 7 victims of Winkle’s abuse of power, including juveniles.
The department said Winkle was suspended without pay once he was indicted pending the outcome of the criminal cases filed against him.
“Pursuant to Indiana code and despite wanting to pursue the matter further, this was all the Administration and the Merit Commission could do at the time,” Chief Nathan Sloan wrote after Winkle pleaded guilty.
With Winkle entering a guilty plea admitting to the multiple felonies, Chief Sloan writes that the department and merit commission is taking immediate steps to terminate his employment.
“The conduct outlined in the plea agreement is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the Muncie Police Department,” Sloan writes.
Since Sloan took office in 2020, he says there have been significant changes within the department. This includes increased frequency and intensity of training, software that tracks an officer’s actions throughout their career, and changes in policy that requires officers to report and intervene in use of force instances that they believe to be outside of law and policy.