Indianapolis coalition concerned proposal for use of force review board doesn’t include enough civilians

Crimetracker

INDIANAPOLIS — A proposal for a use of force board in Indianapolis is now under review by the General Orders Committee, and one organization is sharing concerns about some of the ideas in it.

The African American Coalition of Indianapolis, AACI, has been advocating for this type of board for several years after Aaron Bailey was shot and killed in 2017.

For the first time, use of force in Indianapolis would be reviewed with citizen guidance and input. Nearly half of the board would be made up of civilians. AACI believes that is not enough.

“It should be a majority civilian board. Civilian should mean citizen or an individual that is not affiliated with government or IMPD,” said Marshawn Wolley, the public policy director for AACI.

Mayor Joe Hogsett during a press briefing on Monday said he could consider adding more citizens to the board. The coalition said it has sent its recommendations like this one to the city.

“We’re going to expand a board that reviews all uses of force, not just whenever a firearm is just involved, but rather how we behave as a community when force is used,” said Hogsett.

IMPD has submitted a proposal for the use of force board, and now the General Orders Committee is reviewing it.

During an interview with FOX59 last Wednesday about use of force policies, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said civilian board members will see everything his officers and other members of the board will see, like internal affairs investigations and video.

“There may be some people that don’t like it in its initial state, but it is a moving document,” said Chief Taylor last Wednesday.

FOX59 is still working to get a copy of the proposal submitted by IMPD.

AACI said it believes board members should also be able to make recommendations for discipline.

“Black people are tired, and they need to see a good strong effort at reform now. We actually needed it yesterday,” said Wolley.

AACI said they are hopeful with the endorsement of the Chief Taylor, Mayor Hogsett and the president of the City-County Council, Vop Osili, that a board with non-police affiliated citizen representatives will become a reality.

“We are frustrated, however, that the preliminary proposals have been inconsistent with the kind of civilian oversight our community deserves,” AACI said in a press release on Sunday.

The coalition is also calling for case dispositions from the use of force board to be made available to the public.

IMPD believes the review board could be fully operational in the next few months.

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