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Muncie police chief confirms federal investigation into department

Muncie police stock
Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 19, 2019

MUNCIE — Federal authorities are investigating the Muncie Police Department, according the Chief Joe Winkle.

The investigation is reportedly looking into alleged police brutality, however, Winkle said he has not been officially informed of what the investigation is looking at or if federal authorities are officially investigating the department.

Authorities have requested information on several calls and issued some subpoenas, Winkle said.

One of the people they have requested information on is Officer Chase Winkle, the chief's son, Joe Winkle said.

Chase Winkle has recently been serving as the department's public information officer after being transferred from uniform patrol to the investigations division.

Joe Winkle said federal investigators have requested information on about 10 different cases.

One of the cases being looked at is a story RTV6 first showed you last fall.

In 2018, Chase Winkle and another officer were involved in a scuffle captured on body cameras with Jessie Vernon. During the scuffle, Vernon was injured and broke his collar bone.

You can view the body camera footage obtained by RTV6 from the incident below.

Note: The video has graphic language and materials that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

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Prosecutors recently dropped all charges stemming from the incident against Vernon.

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When RTV6 interviewed Chief Joe Winkle about the incident, he said he couldn't review the footage with us because federal authorities were looking at it.

"That's being looked at," Joe Winkle said. "We were requested that by the Attorney General's office along with a couple others so at this point I can't get into watching and critiquing it. But I certainly don't have any problem answering questions about it.”

No charges have been filed against any Muncie police officers in the federal investigation.

Per Department of Justice policy, the FBI does not confirm or deny any investigation, Chris Bavender, a public affairs specialist for the FBI Indianapolis Division said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is unable to comment at this time, said Jennifer Ross, executive assistant to U.S. Attorney and first assistant U.S. Attorney.