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South Bend Police wiretapping trial begins today

A trial in a wiretapping lawsuit involving the South Bend Police Department will begin today in U.S. District Court.

(Marcello Casal Jr./Agência Brasil)
Posted on Aug. 12, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.

A trial in a wiretapping lawsuit involving the South Bend Police Department will begin Tuesday Aug. 12, in U.S. District Court.

The City of South Bend, South Bend Common Council and four police officers are arguing about whether the inadvertant recording of a South Bend police officer’s phone line violates federal law.

Capt. Brian Young was assigned a new office and phone line after receiving a promotion several years ago. The phone line had been tapped before Young got to that office at the request of an officer who had since left the department, according to a report from the South Bend Tribune.

A communications director at the police department discovered the wire tap while investigating a phone system crash.

The Federal Wiretap Act allows for police to tap phone lines during the course of normal police investigations.

The city and four police officers, including Young, argue the recording of Young's phone conversations was accidental, and therefore in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act as it is not pursuant to police policy and procedure.

The Common Council argues that an accidental recording of a phone line is allowed under the law because it is a regular practice to record police phone lines.

For a timeline of the case and more information on the arguments from both sides, read the full story from the South Bend Tribune.


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