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Faith leaders: Mayor to soon submit changes on police use of force, disciplinary process

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The faith-based group Faith in Indiana said Thursday that the mayor of Indianapolis within 24 hours will submit a rough draft on “use of force” changes for police and a progressive disciplinary process.

The group is demanding police reform after protests across the city and says Mayor Joe Hogsett is on board with revising the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s policies. The group said more than 1,000 people have emailed Hogsett looking for changes within IMPD.

Members of Faith in Indiana are advocating for change after the deaths of Dreasjon Reed in May, Eric Logan in June 2019 and Aaron Bailey in June 2017.

They came up with the “LIVE FREE Reform Agenda,” a seven-point plan for police reform:

  • Strengthen police use of force policy.
  • Enact a progressive discipline policy.
  • De-escalation and procedural justice training.
  • Implement group violence intervention recommendations immediately.
  • Respond to mental health crisis with treatment not incarceration.
  • Remove unfair protections for officers in law enforcement contracts.
  • Require independent investigations of police violence.

“They’re too many videotapes that show us the death of a black man, or white man, for that matter, but the death of a black man has happened when the officer did not fear for his life,” Clyde Posley Jr., senior pastor at Antioch Baptist Church in Indianapolis. “He made the decision to use lethal force when lethal force was not necessary.”

The Rev. Darian Bouie, senior pastor at Progressive Baptist Church, said, “The mayor’s team has also affirmed that they have committed fully to implement the group violence intervention, and it will be proposed in the 2021 budget, but they have already begun the works on implementing those things right now.”

IMPD plans to have body cameras by August. Faith in Indiana said they want to see disciplinary action if officers do not turn on their cameras.

“If the individual dies in the custody of a police officer and the body cam was turned off, we are demanding that officer be immediately fired,” Posley said.

Posley said they hope to meet with Hogsett’s team, IMPD Chief Randall Taylor and, Rick Snyder, the president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police No. 86, in the near future.

Hogsett and Taylor will have a media availability at 1 p.m. Friday to provide public safety updates. The event will be live on WISH-TV, WISHTV.com and on the WISH-TV app and Facebook page.

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