INDIANAPOLIS– Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said he is considering criminal charges against Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers for their actions during the weekend riots that rocked downtown Indianapolis following protests calling for an end to racial injustice and for criminal justice reforms.
In an exclusive interview with FOX59, Mears said his office has filed charges against 25 people arrested for acts of violence, looting and burglary downtown between May 29-31, is investigating several shots fired cases and is considering excessive force charges against multiple officers as the result of video evidence of actions that weekend.
“Today we were referred a case. I met with the detective involved who’s handling the investigation into that matter. It was referred to us as a criminal investigation. Today, first thing this morning I met with the detective who has been assigned to that. And we’re gonna continue to follow up on that to determine if charges are appropriate.”
Mears did not initially specify which incident was under review and said this is the only case his office is considering at this time.
“Portions of this incident were captured on video and that will certainly be part of the decision making process as to whether or not charges are appropriate,” said Mears. “At this point in time it is the only matter that has been referred to us for a criminal investigation from IMPD. I know they’re still working through the process so I would not be surprised if we received more.”
However, the prosecutor’s office confirmed Mears is reviewing the incident captured in the video below, which shows officers beating a woman protesting downtown last weekend with batons and shoving another woman who questioned their actions to the ground:
The prosecutor said he was ready to testify Wednesday evening before the City County Council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee about his decision to drop charges against dozens of people arrested downtown during the three days and nights of protests and unrest who were mostly charged with disorderly conduct or curfew violations.
Mears said his office would not prosecute arrestees who were exercising their constitutional right to assemble.
Mears said most of those arrested for criminal violations were from Marion County with others from across Indiana and a few from out of state.
Two people were murdered downtown during the riots. One arrest has been made.
IMPD has been asked for comment on the excessive force investigation.