SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — South Bend’s police chief says the officers involved in the arrest of Notre Dame football player Devin Butler have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Chief Scott Ruszkowski announced Friday that following an internal review, he won’t refer the case to the Board of Public Safety for discipline because “the evidence does not support a claim of wrongdoing on the part of any officer involved.”
Butler, a senior cornerback, is accused of tackling a police officer and punching him during an altercation in August outside a the Linebacker Lounge bar across from campus. He faces felony charges of resisting law enforcement and battery against a public safety official.
Some witnesses have claimed Butler did nothing wrong and accused one officer of misconduct.
Coach Brian Kelly suspended Butler indefinitely shortly after the arrest.
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski released the following statement in advance of the Board of Public Safety’s meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 19:
As with proceedings for citizens accused of wrongdoing, serious officer discipline cases are handled according to due process. These discipline cases, presented in public to the Board of Public Safety and decided based on evidence, are not reopened once a decision is made and a case is closed.
I have stressed honesty, integrity, and accountability each and every day since becoming Chief last year. Under my watch, SBPD examines every use of force case regardless of whether or not a complaint is made. For every case of alleged misconduct that comes before our department, we base decisions and recommendations on a full review of evidence. Cases for major discipline, from written reprimand to termination, are referred to the Board of Public Safety upon completion of an internal affairs investigation and my recommendation on appropriate discipline.
In the Butler case, the evidence does not support a claim of wrongdoing on the part of any officer involved, which is why I am not referring the case to the Board of Public Safety. It is also important to note that no formal citizen complaint was filed by Mr. Butler or others. Due to the considerable public interest in this case and accusations made in public, we decided to open an internal investigation anyway. We have refrained from releasing additional information about this case out of respect for Mr. Butler’s right to due process. We will release further information as soon as circumstances allow.