The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) announced updates to the department’s General Orders to address the use of force. Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD Chief Randal Taylor announced these changes during a press conference June 5.
Following a weekend where IMPD officers deployed tear gas on demonstrators and a viral video of IMPD officers assaulting a Black woman on the street – a video Taylor described as concerning – Hogsett announced several proposed changes in a press conference. Among them, IMPD officers will be prohibited from using chokeholds while apprehending suspects. Hogsett said IMPD officers were already trained not to use chokeholds, but now it will be strictly prohibited in policy.
Further, officers will be trained in de-escalation before using both non-lethal and lethal use of force. These changes come after a list of demands from community members and Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists were named regarding police reform in Indianapolis.
“Over the last four days, I have been inspired by the displays of protests that have filled our streets,” Hogsett said. “We’ve watched protest organizers and our police department work together to ensure that these protests are able to be safely conducted. Thanks to this collaboration, our city has been able to hear the words of those who are not asking for action, they are demanding actions. The simple truth is this: we must hear the anguished cries of our Black neighbors, who were born into a system where form the moment of birth they are forced to bear the weight of over 400 years of oppression.”
Frank Sullivan, president of IMPD’s Civilian Merit Board, said the board looks forward to working with the mayor, IMPD and community members to make suggestions on steps to take to enhance community relations with IMPD.
One of the demands from the community the city is not answering is naming the IMPD officer who shot and killed Dreasjon Reed, 21, May 6.
“I don’t think it wise that we do that,” Taylor said. “I’m not saying those names won’t be released.” Taylor said a special prosecutor has been brought on the case and will review case files, and said more information will come out over the next few weeks.
An 8 p.m. curfew has been reinstated for June 5 and June 6. Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said, like during previous protests this week, protesters will not be arrested if they are out after curfew, as long as it remains peaceful.
“We do not want nor do we seek confrontations with those advocating for change,” Bailey said. “But we cannot and will not tolerate destruction, and we are prepared for those who come with chaos in mind. We have seen what can happen when we have mutual respect for one another.”
Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.