Community anxious for judicial process following officer indictments

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced IMPD officers Johnathan Horlock and Nathaniel Schauwecker were indicted Wednesday by a Marion County grand jury after an investigation into a use-of-force incident that occurred during downtown Indianapolis protests on May 31.

Mears posed the question to jurors, were these actions captured in a video of the incident reasonable or unreasonable?

Now, former Marion County Prosecutor Ralph Staples said the jurors will consider the context of officers’ actions. To be clear, an indictment is a finding of probable cause.

“Was there touching?” Staples said. “There appears to have been a touching. Now the issue becomes, was that touching rude, insolent or angry and did it result in some form of injury? Get beyond that, was there something to justify the touching? So again it’s a complicated puzzle.”

Duane Ingram, Indy’s Civilian Police Complaint Board president, believes this case underscores that no one is above the law.

“There’s a process by which anybody can be punished for violating anybody’s human rights,” Ingram said. “No officer or elected official or public official is above that process.”

Ingram said the community “wants justice where injustice has occurred.”

“So the officers that were indicted, there is a direct punishment that’s attached to that,” Ingram said. “That’s what we appreciate and that’s what’s important.”

Ingram also generally thanks IMPD officers for their service, especially during the protests during that May weekend. But, he looks forward to the criminal justice process in this case.

“It’s important that we the community feel that once police officers have done wrong or have harmed the community in any capacity, there is justice,” Ingram said.

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