Hogsett: Independent review panel to examine law enforcement response to protests

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Monday morning, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced an independent review committee will look into law enforcement’s response to the protests in May and June.

According to the mayor’s office, the review will include an examination of police officers’ adherence to existing department policies as well as giving recommendations for possible policy changes.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, according to the mayor’s office, has agreed to cooperate and be transparent in the process.

Those who will make up the Response Review Committee (RRC) include:

  • Deborah J. Daniels, partner at Krieg DeVault law firm and a former U.S. attorney and U.S. assistant attorney general. She has previously conducted an independent review of USA Gymnastics and was involved in the nation’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
  • Dr. Sean L. Huddleston, president of Martin University. He has previously served as vice president and chief equity and inclusion officer for the University of Indianapolis and on the advisory board for the Indiana Diversity Council.
  • Myra C. Selby, partner at Ice Miller law firm and a former associate justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. She chairs the court’s Commission on Race and Gender Fairness and previously directed health care policy for state government.
Deborah J. Daniels, Sean L. Huddleston and Myra C. Selby. (Photos Provided)

The mayor’s office says the report will be published by the end of the calendar year.

The city denied News 8’s request to answer follow-up questions regarding the Response Review Committee, so it’s unknown how the three people were chosen for the panel and why. The members of the committee also declined News 8’s requests for comment.

“I want to thank the members of the RRC for their expert leadership in what will be an independent, comprehensive assessment of our law enforcement response during a crucial moment in our nation’s history,” the mayor said in a statement. “This review will give our community a clearer understanding of the events that transpired at the start of this month, and will be a guiding document for tailoring law enforcement responses in the future.”

This announcement comes just days after nine members resigned from the Southeast Community District Resource Council. Eight of them resigned by submitting a letter sighting a political change creating “hidden agendas and covered covert objectives.”

The former co-chair of the Southeast CDRC, Chris Holland, says when often times when the group would come to the mayor or the council with a solution or initiative they would be met with a “political response” that dodges the issue. He says that he was bothered by the mayor’s lack of presence after the protest and said it was a lack in judgment to not put a curfew in place until Sunday.

Holland said, “Which is it? Are we working against violent crime or are we for violent crime because I am not going to be for that?”

With IMPD already having two other accountability committees with community members in place, Holland says he feels the Response Review Committee is another attempt at dodging the real issues of violence in the city, which he says is a problem within the system.