South Bend Police Chief recommends officer’s firing in deadly crash

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(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — South Bend’s police chief is recommending that an officer be fired for a patrol car crash that killed a young mother.

Chief Scott Ruszkowski’s recommendation Friday to the city’s Board of Public Safety follows a grand jury’s decision last month not to indict Officer Justin Gorny on a reckless homicide charge in the July 20 crash at Western Avenue and Kaley Street that killed Erica Flores, 22.

The South Bend Tribune reports Gorny is seeking a disciplinary hearing on the matter. He was driving about 90 mph while responding to a reckless motorist call when he ran a red light and collided with Flores’ car.

Flores had two daughters, ages 3 and 4.

Her family’s attorney says surveillance video shows Gorny’s siren wasn’t sounding and he only activated his cruiser’s emergency lights seconds before the collision.

The statement below was released by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg:

“The Chief of Police has moved for the termination of Officer Gorny, and the Officer has requested a hearing. Now the case goes before the Board of Public Safety, which is composed of five civilian members from South Bend. The Board is entrusted to listen to all sides of discipline cases brought before them and make decisions based on the evidence presented. They know the importance of handling this case, and every case, with thoroughness, fairness, and integrity.”

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