INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police will make significant policy changes in the wake of the fatal June shooting of an unarmed black man by officers, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Friday.
Hogsett said the department’s use-of-force policy will be “modernized” and it will bring in a “diverse set of legal experts” to review training for new officers, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/2v02Wl4 ).
Additionally, the city plans to create a use-of-force review board to examine incidents that involve firearms, Tasers or a physical altercation. Implicit bias training will also be offered to officers.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was roundly criticized following the June 29 shooting death of 45-year-old Aaron Bailey after a chase that followed a traffic stop. Officers Michal P. Dinnsen and Carlton J. Howard were placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
The shooting was decried by pastors with the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network and other community leaders. The advocacy group DON’T SLEEP held a rally last month, and at least one more rally was planned Saturday at the Indiana Statehouse, while the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is under way.
Chief Bryan Roach said Bailey’s death represents a “national discussion that has come home.”
“I’ve heard a lot of anger in the last couple weeks,” Roach said. “I’ve heard a lot of fear. Our responsibility is to diminish that anger and fear.”
The Marion County prosecutor’s office and the FBI are investigating the shooting.
Hogsett also vowed that the investigation into Bailey’s death will happen expeditiously and with “as much openness and as much transparency as due process will allow.”
After the announcement, the Rev. Jeffrey A. Johnson Sr., who leads Eastern Star Church, said he liked that the police force is looking for outside help to supplement what the department is already doing to improve training and policies.
But he said the city still needs to address consequences for police officers when they violate laws or policies.
“There are things that are already in place, and police violate them, and nothing happens,” Johnson said. “There has to be a painful consequence for that. If you have a badge and a gun, the law is not different for you.”
Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com