DOJ: Muncie officers indicted on additional charges of excessive force and obstruction

Crime

WASHINGTON (WANE) – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a federal grand jury in Indianapolis returned a 17-count superseding indictment charging three officers and one sergeant of the Muncie Police Department with excessive force and obstruction.

According to court documents, Officers Joseph Chase Winkle, 34, Jeremy Gibson, 30, Corey Posey, 28, and Sergeant Joseph Krejsa, 50, were indicted for their roles in using excessive force against arrestees and attempting to cover up the misconduct.

The superseding indictment charges Winkle with 11 felony offenses, Gibson with three felony offenses, Krejsa with two felony offenses and Posey with one felony offense.

The DOJ said Winkle is charged with five counts of depriving five different arrestees of their rights to be free from excessive force, and six counts writing false reports about his uses of force against those arrestees, as well as two other arrestees. According to the superseding indictment, Winkle’s actions included kicking, punching, knee-striking and using a taser on arrestees without justification which resulted in bodily injury to the arrestees.

Gibson is charged with two counts of depriving two arrestees of their rights to be free from excessive force, and one count of writing a false report about his use of force against one of those arrestees. According to the superseding indictment, Gibson’s actions included punching, stomping on and knee-striking arrestees without justification which resulted in bodily injury to both arrestees.

The department said Krejsa is charged with two counts of writing false reports related to two of Winkle’s excessive force incidents. According to the superseding indictment, on one occasion, Krejsa minimized the level of force used by Winkle during one arrest, and, on another occasion, falsely represented that a different Muncie Police Department sergeant cleared Winkle of his use of force when it was actually Krejsa who conducted that review.

Posey is charged with one count of writing a false report related to one of Winkle’s excessive force incidents. According to the superseding indictment, Posey’s use of force report misrepresented the arrestee’s behavior, and mischaracterized and omitted Winkle’s unlawful use of force during the incident.

Winkle, Gibson and Krejsa were previously charged in a 12-count indictment with civil rights and obstruction offenses arising from five of the six incidents charged in the superseding indictment, the DOJ said. The superseding indictment adds additional excessive force and false report charges against Winkle and Gibson related to a sixth incident, and charges Posey (who was not included in the previous indictment) with obstruction.

The department said the maximum penalty for the deprivation-of-rights offenses is 10 years of imprisonment and the maximum penalty for false report offenses is 20 years of imprisonment.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Mary J. Hahn and Katherine G. DeVar of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Linder of the Southern District of Indiana are prosecuting the case.

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