INDIANAPOLIS — In the wake of two fatal IMPD officer-involved shootings last year and widespread social injustice protests, two new community-dominated review boards were established to oversee police rules and the discharge of service weapons.
Three times in the last month IMPD officers have shot men who they said were attacking them.
One man died and a policewoman was wounded.
Members of the Use of Force Review Board have completed their training at the IMPD Academy and are undertaking 24 hours of officer ridealongs before receiving their first cases for review.
“There are approximately eight cases that are pending or will be pending before the Use of Force Board but as of today there are currently only two cases ready to be heard,” said IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams, “and they don’t have the purview to review all use of force cases. It’s only if the deputy chief forwards them something that he thinks needs to be looked at then they can do that.
“We’ve gone through 16 hours of training, including use of force, empty hand techniques, soft empty hand techniques, non-lethal weapons, we’ve just gone through implicit bias training, traffic stops,” said Adams, “so we anticipate starting within the next three weeks really getting their first case.
“This is a voluminous amount of information, 500 pages of information on one critical incident, and its gonna take a little bit of time for them to find their rhythm.”
Rev. Clyde Posley has been named chairman of the General Orders Board which will review the rules by which IMPD protects the city.
“There’s a lot to consider, remember and execute in a very short time,” he said. “Police officers have a whole lot to accomplish in a short time whether it be a traffic stop, a mental health situation, they have a lot to recall in a short time. There’s a lot of room for success but just as much room for error.”
Rev. Posley and his board members have also undergone academy training and ridden with officers on patrol.
“If more citizens actually got to be along in rides, interact with police, and take advantage of the community forums where they can ask questions and understand why a policy is a certain way, why they use, why they use that or why they go about that, it would be a benefit,” he said. “I am not on the board to revamp the police department. I’m not on the board to take away any authority of Police Chief Randy Taylor.”
While the General Orders Board will examine IMPD policies, the Use of Force Review Board will typically consider cases where officers discharged their firearms, and only after the Marion County Prosecutor has determined if criminal charges against the officer are warranted.
Rev. Posley expects his board will hold its first hearing July 1st.
“When those meetings are public, by law they have to be open,” he said. “You can sit in and hear everything that’s going on.”