INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Hours before a Friday night curfew began across Marion County, Mayor Joe Hogsett on Friday afternoon called for the modernization of the city police’s “use of force” policy.
This comes after protests and rioting in the city, and a video that’s gone viral of officers using force on two women after a Sunday night curfew.
Hogsett said city officials last week submitted proposed “use of force” changes to the Use of Force Board of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. On Friday morning, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor submitted a new draft of the “use of force” changes to the IMPD General Orders Committee. The committee will meet next week, according to a city news release.
IMPD will begin two to three weeks of training for officers on the changes beginning July 6.
“This new policy clearly specifies rules for using various levels of less lethal force,” the mayor said. “This change contains principles consistent with the continuum of force principles that are currently being discussed nationally and we believe will lead to better outcomes for officers and better outcomes for our community as a whole.”
The chokehold technique has never been allowed and will remain banned. “In the coming weeks and with community engagement, with neighborhoods, with faith leaders, with city county counselors, I have asked our civilian police merit board to provide recommendation as to what modernizations should be implemented,” Hogsett said.
The mayor, in a virtual news conference, outlined the draft of the “use of force” changes:
- An update to IMPD’s standard for the use of force. It will be modeled after a California law.
- An update to the requirement for identification and warning before deadly force is used.
- IMPD will prohibit chokeholds.
- De-escalation guidelines now used for situations involving mental health would be expanded to all situations. Training on de-escalation was already being discussed before Floyd’s death.
- Intervention and comprehensive reporting of lethal and nonlethal uses of force would be required, with a definition of an officer’s duty to intervene and report when another officer uses inappropriate force.
- Shooting at moving vehicles and shooting from a moving vehicle will be prohibited.
- Specific rules would be created for the use of less lethal force.
A draft of the changes was released about 4-1/2 hours after the mayor’s news conference began.
The mayor said the “use of force” policy has not been updates since 2016, shortly after he took office.
Watch the mayor’s news conference below. App users can go online to view the video in this story.
A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office told The Associated Press that four IMPD officers have been reassigned to support roles pending the outcome of an investigation into the use of batons and pepper balls to subdue two women at a protest last weekend over the death of George Floyd. The officers’ reassignments do not involve them being placed on administrative leave. The Sunday night incident involving the subduing of the two women was captured on video and posted on social media. News 8’s Richard Essex captured the incident on Facebook.
Marion County residents will be under a curfew order Friday and Saturday. According to the mayor’s office, the curfews will begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and end at 6 a.m. the next day.
During the curfew hours, travel will be limited on public streets or and people are not to be in public places. The exceptions are for travel to and from work; seeking medical care; fleeing from dangerous circumstances; members of law enforcement; news media; local public officials conducting necessary work; and homeless people.
The 8 p.m. curfew issued for Marion County is once again extending hardships businesses had already been experiencing from pandemic stay-at-home orders.
Restaurants in Marion County can finally open to 50% capacity inside, and that was something many businesses were looking forward to. But after weekend protests and riots left damage to many downtown businesses, places that include the District Tap delayed their indoor opening plans and put up boards to protect their business.
More money to come in 2021 for group violence
The mayor also addressed an issue repeatedly raised, he said, by the advocacy group Faith in Indiana. Hogsett said he has met with the group for many years and called them a force for better change and “peace on our streets.”
He said Faith in Indiana’s engagement is leading him to submit a 2021 budget in August with added funding for the city’s group violence intervention strategy. He did not provide specifics.
“That will bring additional staff and resources to bear in an effort to interrupt the cycle of hopelessness, the cycle of violence that has ripped far too many of our young youth,” Hogsett said.
Council may making racism a public health crisis in Marion County
City council to consider making racism a public health crisis in Marion County
The proposal is being introduced by Vop Osili, president of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council. The proposal, No. 182, has not yet been put on the council’s website. A note from a council clerk said some proposals are not yet ready for public distribution, but will be posted as soon as possible.
The council is set to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in an online session.
People can comment on the proposal No. 182 through an online form. People can also call the council at (317) 327-4242.