Wrongfully-convicted Keith Cooper suing Elkhart Police Department

A Chicago man and former Ellhart resident pardoned this year after spending more than eight years in prison for a wrongful conviction, is suing the Elkhart Police Chief and the officers he says framed him.

Keith Cooper was pardoned back in February by Governor Eric Holcomb. He was convicted for a 1996 robbery in Elkhart during which a teenager was shot. He was released from prison in 2006 after a co-defendant’s conviction was overturned.

According to the lawsuit, Chief Ed Windbigler and the three officers violated his constitutional right to due process. The South Bend Tribune reports the suit also contends he was prosecuted with false evidence and that the Elkhart Police Department enabled misconduct by its officers.

Cooper’s case gained national attention when then-Gov. Mike Pence declined to grant a pardon while campaigning for vice president last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.