Local law enforcement starting task force to investigate protest vandalism

It will be made up with officers from LPD, WLPD, Purdue PD and the Sheriff's Office.

Posted: Jun 3, 2020 10:56 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Local law enforcement are working together to create a task force to investigate the vandalism done during Sunday's protest for racial injustice. 

As we previously reported, people spray painted on the Tippecanoe County Courthouse and broke a window at the visitors entrance. The Best Buy by the mall was also broken into.

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith released details about the task force Wednesday afternoon. It will be made up with officers from LPD, WLPD, Purdue PD and the Sheriff's Office.

They want people to submit pictures and videos of what they saw that night, either at the courthouse or out at the mall. Sheriff Goldsmith ensures that they run an unbiased investigation.

"I can say here at the sheriff's department if there's a complaint, we look into it" he said. "We hold each other accountable, and I believe that starts at the top."

He said the task force doesn't have an end date, and will work as long as necessary.

"Our end goal here is to find those who are responsible for those acts and present the cases to the prosecutor," he said. "The prosecutor has the final say whether charges are filed or not but we want to make sure we are doing our job to hold those people accountable for the actions they did."

Sheriff Goldsmith released some photos of people they are currently looking for. They believe these people either saw key things happen Sunday night, or took part in the vandalism itself. Find those photos at the bottom of this story.

Anyone with information about who these people are can contact the task force.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the city has many outreach programs including a human relations committee.

It identifies any problems in the community where any citizen feels unsafe. There are also rules in place to keep law enforcement accountable. WLPD is required to have their body cameras on during any contact with the public. 

There are also organizations you can donate to such as the local NAACP chapter and Purdue's Black Cultural Center. Both lead conversations about racial injustice around the community and county.

Dennis said he and the city are serious about making sure there is a high level of accountability.

"Well traditionally we have always had specifically with our law enforcement personnel communal training," he said. "We take complaints here very seriously in the City of West Lafayette."

If you have any information from the protest you would like to share with the task force, email it to countytips@tippecanoe.in.gov or call 765-775-5141.

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