Schools Board Chair Arrested Multiple Times, Supports Kicking Cop out of School

Sam Centellas, South Bend Empowerment Zone Board Chair — Photo St. Joseph County Jail

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned the Board Chair of the South Bend Empowerment Zone, who supports kicking a police officer out of Coquillard Elementary School, has been arrested multiple times in the past few years and is currently on probation for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

Samuel Centellas recently came to the defense of the CEO of the Empowerment Zone, Dr. Cheryl Camacho, who kicked a South Bend Police officer out of Coquillard Elementary School late last month. The officer was doing a standard walk-through when she approached the officer, questioned his intentions and asked him to leave. The entire incident was caught on the officer’s bodycam. You can read about the incident and watch the full video here.

“I am disappointed by the inflammatory framing of your article and the officer’s words at the end of the video, which unprofessionally and incorrectly captured the full context of his interaction with Dr. Camacho.” Centellas, who is also the Executive Director for La Casa de Amistad, said via text. “I fully support Dr. Camacho’s actions on 4/21; immediately after this incident she emailed Officer Eric Crittendon (South Bend Police Patrol Division Chief) and myself requesting a meeting on 4/29, and they had a productive conversation.”

It turns out, Centellas has been arrested two times since 2018. In February 2018, he was charged with Operating While Intoxicated (endangering a person) and Reckless Driving. He was able to get the OWI dismissed and took a plea on the Reckless Driving charge.

Sam Centellas Mugshot from 2018 arrest

In March 2020, he was arrested on an OWI charge again. This time he took a guilty plea for the charge and is currently on probation until June of 2021.

Sam Centellas Mughshot from 2020 arrest

RNM has also uncovered Centallas’ support for defunding police. He shared a Black Lives Matter post in July of 2020, calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be abolished. According to ICE’s official website, ICE officers seize 4,000 pounds of narcotics, arrest 87 criminals and remove 12 gang members on average every day.

Centellas also donated to the Northern Indiana Atheists Organization in November of 2020. Many of those members and supporters also volunteer at the Whole Woman’s Health abortion clinic in South Bend. You can see how these wonderful people behave by watching the videos of their attacks here.

RNM reached out to Centellas for comment. As of publication, he has not responded.


  1. Seems he lacks the personal integrity that should be required to hold a position of prominence and authority. No surprise he is anti-law enforcement. (He is demonstrably anti-law-abiding.) Does it appear to anyone else that the head of the Empowerment Zone is a lot more empowered than necessary? More like self-aggrandizing. What a pair!!


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