Judge to determine if South Bend violated law by taping officers' telephone conversations



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SOUTH BEND, Indiana — A federal judge will decide whether the South Bend Police Department violated the Federal Wiretap Act by recording the telephone conversations of some police officers.

The South Bend Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1ppX79m ) a trial expected to last two days began Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen. The trial pits the administration of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg against the Common Council. The city and the four officers argue the recordings were accidental, and therefore in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act because it wasn't part of police policy.

The Common Council contends it is regular practice to record phone lines at police departments, meaning even an inadvertent recording of a line is allowed under the law.

The recording was discovered in 2011 and has divided the city ever since.


Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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