INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Rev. Al Sharpton addressed a crowd at Eastern Star ChurchSunday in Indianapolis. Much of the speech focused on policebrutality and the injuries 15-year-old Brandon Johnson sufferedwhen beaten by police on May 16th.
"You would assume that police in Indianapolis aren't trained onhow to restrain people," Sharpton said, "Four or five of them andthey can't restrain a 15-year-old?” He went on to call theincident an injustice.
Of the five officers involved in the beating incident, one hasbeen fired and another reprimanded.
During the hour long speech, Sharpton called for more oversightin internal investigations. He also blasted Mayor Greg Ballard fornot meeting enough with African-American church leaders.
“It would seem to me that the right tone for Expo weekwould be for the Mayor to sit down with all of those that representpeople…whether you agree with them or not to set a tone ofunity. You need to do what I did and come and meet,” saidSharpton.
24 Hour News 8's Jacqueline Policastro caught up with MayorBallard. He says he inherited a 200 case backlog of discriminationclaims when he took office, and that now there is no backlog.
In response to Sharpton's comments, he said, "People say whatthey say. I can’t comment on any motivation there...Therecord is little different than what some people are portraying.The murder rate last year was the lowest in 16 years. No secretwhere a lot of that crime takes place.”
The Mayor's Chief of Staff, Robert Vane also said,“Mayor Ballard doesn't necessarily do what Al Sharptonsays...so I don't think that Al Sharpton has been in Indianapolislong enough to judge or grade Mayor Ballard."
But at Sunday's event, Sharpton also pointed fingers at thecommunity.
"We are not fighting for you to be a thug or a hood. Wereprimand bad cops, but not all cops are bad," he said.
The case is now in the hands of the Department of Justice forreview but, Sharpton says that's not enough.
"If you can’t tolerate the job and responsibility of beinga police officer, then you shouldn’t be one," saidSharpton.
A march will be held over the Noon hour Monday at theCity-County Building to protest the case.
9 P.M. UPDATE: The winter storm warnings have been canceled and most snow is coming to an end. The colder temperatures were starting to move into central Indiana.
Carmel has a voice in the climate change discussion.
It's been a busy 24 hours for road crews in Indiana. And for many south of Indianapolis, the work isn't close to being over.