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Lawsuit: Mayor, IMPD played role in Chris Beaty’s death

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mother of Chris Beaty, Debra Cooper, is suing Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Chief of Police Randal Taylor and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for the wrongful death of her son during the 2020 downtown riots.

The lawsuit claims Hogsett failed to impose a curfew during the riots and failed to implement necessary resources and training. It also claims all the defendants failed at things such as “properly patrolling the scheduled protest” and “failed to properly diffuse the resulting looting and violence than predictably occurred after the scheduled protest.”

Beaty, an Indianapolis businessman and former Indiana University football player, was shot trying to stop a robbery during the riots.

The lawsuit echoes much of the findings by the Independent Review Panel from 2021.

In the Panel’s findings, they say police escalated tensions by taking away what protestors deemed “medical supplies” like water and first aid equipment. It also states a lack of training by police, as many officers who were interviewed told the panel they were “unprepared” for the crowd size and stress of the riots.

I-Team 8 reached out to the City for comment but was told by the Indianapolis Office of Corporation Counsel : “Out of respect for the judicial process, we do not comment on pending litigation.”

While the lawsuit does not clarify a specific monetary amount, it says Cooper is seeking compensation for things like funeral expenses, attorney fees and anything else the court sees fit.

The attorneys listed on the lawsuit declined I-Team 8’s request for comment.

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