MUNCIE, Ind. – A grand jury indicted four Muncie police officers in connection with an excessive force and obstruction investigation.
According to federal prosecutors, officers Joseph Chase Winkle, 34, Jeremy Gibson, 30, and Corey Posey 28, and former Sergeant Joseph Krejsa, 50, used excessive force against arrestees or tried to cover it up.
Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress announced the charges Wednesday.
The 17-count indictment charges Winkle with 11 felony offenses, Gibson with three felony offenses, Krejsa with two felony offenses, and Posey with one felony offense stemming from incidents in 2018 and one in 2019.
“It’s just unfortunate that it comes out three years later. It’s certainly not the type of thing that we are happy to see happen,” said Mayor Dan Ridenour (R).
Winkle is accused of depriving five different arrestees of their right to be free from excessive force and six counts of writing false reports about his use of force. He’s accused of kicking, punching, knee-striking and using a Taser on arrestees without justification, resulting in injuries.
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 them. The indictment alleges that Gibson’s actions included punching, stomping on, and knee-striking arrestees without justification, resulting in injuries.
Krejsa is charged with writing false reports related to two excessive force incidents involving Winkle. The indictment alleges that Krejsa, on one occasion, 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—even though it was Krejsa who’d conducted the review.
Posey is charged writing a false report related to one of Winkle’s excessive force incidents. Posey misrepresented the arrestee’s behavior, the indictment alleged, and mischaracterized and omitted Winkle’s unlawful use of force during the incident.
Previously, Winkle, Gibson and Krejsa were charged in a 12-count indictment with civil rights and obstruction offenses stemming from five of the six incidents mentioned in the indictment.
All of these allegations took place before the current administration when Chase Winkle’s father, Joe Winkle was the Chief of Police.
Chief Nathan Sloan who currently oversees the department says they have changed training methods to ensure these incidents don’t happen again.
“We’ve done a lot to revamp our training situation now to where all of our officers are going through multiple phases of training,” said Sloan.
Sloan and Ridenour both say they are working to rebuild public trust in the police department.
“We will continue to move forward and turn Muncie into what it needs to be,” said Mayor Ridenour.
The maximum penalty for the deprivation-of-rights offenses is 10 years in prison. The maximum penalty for false report offenses is 20 years.
The Muncie Police Department released a statement from Chief Nathan Sloan and the department’s administrative team:
Three officers from the Muncie Police Department had previously been indicted on various charges from an on-going federal investigation into incidents that occurred in 2018. An additional officer has been indicted as a result of that investigation. The information that has been made available to the department at this time is limited, but we will continue to cooperate with federal authorities and provide updates as information becomes available and can be released. The officer that was indicted today has been placed on Administrative Leave, effective immediately, until further determinations can be made about their status during the continued 2018 investigation.
Two of the previously indicted officers have been on Administrative Leave-Suspension, without pay, pending the outcome of the litigation from the 2018 investigation. The third previously indicted officer resigned from active duty on the Muncie Police Department and is in retirement transition.
The current Muncie Police Administration continues to focus on community engagement, policy revision, officer accountability and continuing education and training for officers. These focal points will remain a priority to ensure that the citizens and/or guests of Muncie are receiving the highest quality police service from policing professionals. These commitments will continue, despite challenges that may arise from previous investigations.