Muncie police face new excessive force, false reporting charges

Three Muncie police officers are facing new allegations of using excessive force then attempting to cover up their actions after a new federal indictment. A fourth officer not previously indicted is now also being charged with a federal crime.

Muncie Police Officers Joseph Chase Winkle, Jeremy Gibson and Corey Posey and Sgt. Joseph Krejsa were indicted on charges of using excessive force against arrestees and/or falsifying reports related to those incidents, the Indiana Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Winkle, Gibson and Krejsa were also charged last year in a 12-count indictment alleging civil rights and obstruction offenses.

Winkle, 34, now faces 11 charges, including five counts of depriving five different arrestees of their rights to be free from excessive force and six counts of writing false reports about his use of force against those five arrestees, plus two others. Winkle is accused of “kicking, punching, knee-striking, and using a (T)aser on arrestees without justification,” leading to injury.

Gibson, 30, is charged in the superseding indictment with three crimes. That includes two counts of depriving two arrestees of their right to be free from excessive force and one count of writing a false report about his use of force against one of those arrestees. The indictment alleges Gibson punched, stomped on and knee-struck arrestees without justification, injuring both arrestees.

Krejsa, 50, is charged with two counts of writing false reports related to two incidents of excessive force involving Winkle. According to the indictment, Krejsa in one case “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, 28, is charged with writing a false report relating to one of the incidents involving Winkle, allegedly misrepresenting the arrestee’s behavior and mischaracterizing and omitting Winkle’s unlawful use of force during the incident.

“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,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A call to Muncie Police Chief Nathan Sloan went unanswered Wednesday morning. Indiana Lawyer left a message seeking comment on the new indictment.

The maximum penalty for the deprivation-of-rights charges is 10 years, while the maximum penalty for the false reporting charges is 20 years.

The case against the officers will be prosecuted by 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 Indiana Southern District U.S. Attorney’s Office. The FBI conducted the investigation.

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