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Question from Indianapolis Mayoral Debate on WISH-TV: Assessing response to 2020 downtown riots

Hogsett and Shreve: Downtown riots (reclip)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Democrat mayor of Indianapolis and a Republican hopeful for the job answered questions, many provided by WISH-TV viewers, during a live, hourlong debate aired Monday night.

Hogsett is seeking a third four-year term as mayor of Indianapolis. Shreve, a businessman who has previously served on the City-County Council, won the Republican primary in May.

Monday night’s presentation was the first one-hour televised debate in an Indianapolis mayoral campaign in nearly 20 years.

In regard to the May-June 2020 riots in downtown Indianapolis, an independent review blamed, among other things, a lack of planning, coordination and communication by IMPD and the city. It also found that police actions escalated the tensions.

Amid lingering questions about Hogsett’s role during the riots, does he agree with the report findings that there was a lack of planning, coordination and communication. Also, where was he on the nights of the riots?

Hogsett says he embraced the report because he’d created the review committee that looked into the protest that came after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. On the night of the riots, he says he worked from his home and was in contact with his representatives and with IMPD to have the protests end. He notes Indianapolis has had 300 protests without any incidents since the May-June 2020 riots.

Shreve says Hogsett’s response is inconsistent with what he’s heard from IMPD and other public safety representatives who were at the riots. Those representatives have told him that they had a mess on their hands during the protests — being told to “stand aside” and let the riots happen — and the mayor wasn’t on the scene. Shreve says, as mayor, he would have been on the scene or working from the mayor’s office in the City-County Building.