Day Two of Elkhart hearing against detective

NOW: Day Two of Elkhart hearing against detective

Is it retaliation or accountability?  

That’s the question in day two of the disciplinary hearing for detective Joy Phillips – who faces a number of allegations and possible termination – but claims it’s payback for speaking out. 

This morning Elkhart County prosecutor Vicki Becker denied being part of a coordinated retaliation against detective Phillips Her virtual testimony this morning largely referenced the previous disciplinary action taken against Phillips.  

The detective had refused to sign an affidavit for a search warrant during a burglary investigation claiming there was no probable cause.  Phillips claims refusing to carry out a perceived unlawful order triggered a series of complaints from superiors.

When Phillips and other officers at the department gave conflicting accounts of that investigation, Becker sent a letter to then-police chief Kris Seymore saying Phillips was considered to be untrustworthywhich could affect her ability to testify in prosecutions.  

Phillips claims this also was part of coordinated retaliation. 

Becker denies that, saying she based those accusations on the word of fellow officers.  

“I can't necessarily say anything that Joy Phillips said was a lie. From what i have heard from Ms. Phillips testimony, she was talking about a lot of legal principles that were inaccurate. Understandings of the law, which isn’t that big of a deal, demonstrates lack of training. But in the scheme of things, I can't tell you one thing that was a lie or was not,” Becker said.   

Phillips disputes these allegations.  


The detective’s attorney spent much of today’s hearing comparing accusations against Phillips – to other violations by officers which were seemingly met with less severe or no punishment. 


Elkhart common council member David Henke was the last person called to the stand today testifying that he’s worried the department is selectively enforcing its policy.  

 “I don't know who's right, who’s wrong. But the process is the process. Everyone deserves to be heard. And what I was told along the way, it just wasn't happening. And looking at minutes, it didn't happen,” Henke said.  

 Other witnesses today included the County Prosecutor and administrators with the Elkhart police department all claiming termination is justified.  

 Detective Joy Phillips will testify on her own behalf tomorrow.  

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