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How policing will change in Indiana under new law

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — George Floyd’s death and the riots last spring in downtown Indianapolis helped spark policing changes in Indiana.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a police reform bill into law.

News 8 captured video during last spring’s protest of two protestors being hit by Indianapolis police for curfew violations. One lawmaker said the video was a tipping point for changing use-of-force rules for Indiana police.

State Sen. Greg Taylor, a Democrat from Indianapolis, said Wednesday, “We’ve got problems. We’ve got some serious problems. I mean, if those officers (shown in the video) followed protocol, then we should all be concerned that that’s the protocol. For me, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Taylor was one of the sponsors of the new law unanimously approved by both chambers of Indiana lawmakers before the governor’ signed it.

The new law requires police officers — new recruits, current police officers and command staff — to attend de-escalation training as part of a use-of-force curriculum.

“Where we actually sat down and said, ‘All right, here is what we can do from a law-enforcement standpoint to make everybody feel like law enforcement is doing the right thing,’” Taylor said. 

The new law, which goes into effect July 1, includes limits on the use of chokeholds and makes it illegal for a police officer to turn off a body-worn camera with the intent of concealing a crime.  

“We are going to give law-enforcement agencies across the state information that they didn’t have before when it comes to hiring a law enforcement officer, and we are going to do things that make sense from a standpoint of de-escalation and cultural bias training,” Taylor said. 

Going forward across the state, de-escalation training will be taught to new recruits and police instructors at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. To assure the training is completed, lawmakers put millions in the new law. “There is $70 million in that bill for the Law Enforcement Academy to get upgrades and for new systems and things like that, so, yes, there is funding for that,” Taylor said.