Town of South Whitley releases statement Tuesday

From reports

On Tuesday, the Town of South Whitley issued a response to public inquiries into a January 2024 incident involving a South Whitley police officer and an 18-year-old girl and concerns whether excessive force was used during a traffic stop.

The town’s response stated:

“In response to a social media post of an edited video of a local law enforcement encounter, the South Whitley Town Council has reviewed the surrounding circumstances, including unabridged video footage from four cameras.

The Council recognizes that Officer Brian Schimmel’s interaction with the accused on January 24, 2024, was flawed but not worthy of dismissal. Concerns with the encounter include allowing the accused to have an unmonitored conversation with her father at the scene, which, like other elements of the incident, was not included in the footage released online. The force involved appears consistent with police academy training.

Since the incident occurred more than two months ago, the Marshal has already addressed areas of concern with the officer. The Town Council concurs with both the Marshal’s corrective efforts and his decision to retain the officer.

Once the pending criminal case is resolved, the county prosecutor will likely authorize the release of the full audio and video footage available. At that time, the Town intends to make that footage available to the public. However, the course of the criminal case should not be determined on social media, nor will the Town release evidence in a pending case without the approval of attorneys for the State of Indiana.

People who wish to be heard on the matter may consider attending a regular meeting of the South Whitley Town Council, which affords time for public comment. However, the Council encourages the public to withhold judgment regarding the matter and will refuse to offer further comment on the matter pending resolution of the related criminal case.