Councilman Arp requests body cam, police report in Mayor’s arrest again

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:44 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Fort Wayne City Councilman Jason Arp has sent another letter to Mayor Tom Henry, requesting that all video and police reports associated with his October 8th OWI arrest be made public. This comes after the mayor was sentenced Thursday.

Henry pleaded guilty October 10th to operating while intoxicated and endangering a person. Initially, the hearing was set for next Monday November 7, but Henry and his attorney walked into misdemeanor court Thursday, November 3 requesting it be moved up. That type of request can typically be granted in a misdemeanor case like this one.

Arps letter asks for the video footage from Henry’s interaction with Fort Wayne police on October 8th, which is the night of the arrest. That includes “the video from the bodycams of each of the officers, the dashcams and the backseat camera in the vehicle that was used to transport from the scene,” the letter says.

He is also requesting unredacted police reports be made available to council with any associated change logs. “These data items are necessary for council to conclude its inquiry,” Arp writes.

Arp has been very vocal about the need for these records to be released. At a council meeting last month, he said the city planned to release the video and police report after sentencing. That’s a claim that city officials have not confirmed.

Our Digging Deeper team has submitted three separate requests for body cam video and the police report. Each time our requests were denied citing “investigatory records.” After the first two were denied - we filed a complaint with the office of the Indiana State’s Public Access Counselor.

Public Access Counselor Luke Britt says an investigation could take up to 45 days and right now there are no updates. However, Britt says he is under the impression that the city was at least “considering” making the records available after sentencing.

Today our Digging Deeper team filed a third public records request with the city.

A judge sentenced the mayor to a suspended jail term of 365 days. He’s also ordered to pay a $25 fine and $800 in court costs and fees. In addition to those costs, he’s paying more than $3,000 in restitution to the City of Fort Wayne and to the woman whose car was damaged in the October 8 crash.

Mayor Henry’s blood alcohol content registered at .152% at the time of the crash, nearly two times the legal limit of .08%. He will not be able to drive as his license remains suspended for another 65 days. His license was initially suspended for 90 days.

A second charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated was dismissed.