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SBPD removes officer

| Sunday, September 11, 2016

The South Bend Police Department removed an officer involved in the arrest of Notre Dame football player Devin Butler from patrol duties last Friday, according to the South Bend Tribune.

According to the Tribune, Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said officer Aaron Knepper will be kept off patrol until internal investigations into the arrest of Butler and another high-profile arrest in March 2014 are conducted.

At a panel discussion on the relationship between the South Bend police and minorities Thursday night, groups of protesters caused a disruption and called for the removal of Knepper, according to the Tribune.

The following day, Ruszkowski announced that he had removed Knepper from patrol the previous week. He would not disclose whether Knepper will be placed on leave or transferred to office duties, citing legal discretion to withhold personnel records.

Knepper has been involved in at least four controversial police confrontations since 2012, according to the Tribune.

South Bend police officers arrested Butler outside the Linebacker Lounge early on the morning of Aug. 20 on felony charges of resisting law enforcement and battery against a public safety official. According to court documents, officers were dispatched after receiving reports of a fight in the Lounge.

Police said officers Luke Pickard and Aaron Knepper saw one woman kick another in the head outside the bar. Before they could intercede, Butler approached and lunged at the woman who had kicked the other one, according to court documents.

As Pickard pulled Butler away, the football player allegedly started cursing and punching both officers. Other officers eventually detained Butler using a Taser. He was brought to a holding cell at the St. Joseph County Jail.

Butler is set to appear in St. Joseph Superior Court again on Oct. 17.

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