‘Can we get the councilman’s handcuffs removed so we can swear him in, please?

‘Can we get the councilman’s handcuffs removed so we can swear him in, please?
Robert Battle

In the state of Indiana, it’s hard to imagine that city officials have ever had to do what they did on Friday: actually swear in an elected City Councilman while he sat behind bars on murder and drug charges.

That’s the exact situation unfolding with Democrat Robert Battle, who won his reelection campaign in November, despite having just been arrested on charges from the federal government. He was sworn in from behind bars at Porter County Jail.

In September, Battle was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession after law enforcement stopped him for speeding in a construction zone and found 40 grams of pot in his vehicle.

A month later, Battle was charged in the shooting death of Reimundo Camarillo Jr. on October 12, 2015. The Lake County Sheriff John Buncich called for Battle to resign, telling the press, “The right thing to do at this time would be to resign, step aside so the East Chicago citizens in the third district can be represented properly.”

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