‘Not guilty’ plea entered for 2 IMPD officers accused of beating 2 women during curfew
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers Jonathon Horlock and Nathaniel Schauwecker appeared in virtual court on Thursday because of restrictions created by the pandemic.
A grand jury indicted the officers earlier this month after a violent curfew arrest on May 31.
The indictment says Horlock, an officer of five years, faces charges of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, battery resulting in bodily injury, perjury, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct. Court documents reveal that Horlock faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges for making false statements about one of the women hitting an IMPD sergeant.
Schauwecker, an officer of eight years, faces a count of battery by means of a deadly weapon, a count of battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, two counts of battery resulting in bodily injury, and two counts of official misconduct, according to the indictment.
A Marion County judge entered a not guilty plea for both officers during Thursday’s hearing.
A nighttime curfew came after downtown rioting began at the end of May. I-Team 8’s Richard Essex captured the officers’ encounter with two women just after 8 p.m. IMPD officers approached Ivore Westfield and Rachal Harding for violating the countywide curfew. The video shows Horlock using his baton to hit Westfield. The video then shows Schauwecker pushing Harding to the ground.
In his first public comments since the charges were filed, John Kautzman, the attorney for the officers, said both men followed what they’ve been taught to do.
“My clients were following orders an order that had been put in place. There was plenty of opportunities for people that were out that evening to follow those orders and this arrest occurred many, many, many minutes after the curfew order,” Kautzman said.
“What I would simply tell you, that I am convinced from the documentation I have reviewed and the information I have learned from my clients, that the steps that they took — not only the two of them but their other fellow officers on the scene that night — were absolutely in strict accordance with their training.”
Kautzman noted the two officers have not faced any disciplinary or “excessive force” allegations in the past.
The Marion County prosecutor said the officers’ training is not a defense for their actions.
The officers have been on administrative leave since the incident. Two other officers involved in the arrest were not indicted.
IMPD is continuing its investigation of the incident.