INDIANAPOLIS — During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Joe Hogsett insisted no member of his team ordered IMPD officers to stand down during the weekend riots on May 29 and May 30.
“The decisions that were made on those evenings were made as they should be by IMPD command staff,” Hogsett stated. “So, there was no order to stand down. Obviously I think we try to encourage all of our police officers in their training to de-escalate whenever that is appropriate, to only use the force that is necessary.”
Hogsett encouraged FOX59 to reach out to IMPD leadership regarding decisions made that weekend. We spoke with IMPD Chief Randal Taylor last week. He described a conversation between Deputy Mayor David Hampton, some protesters and Asst. Chief Chris Bailey.
“We did allow the protesters, like I said at that time were peaceful, to have a little more space in the circle,” Taylor said. “But we did not leave the area. We simply backed off in an effort to give them space and to oblige their requests.”
Chief Taylor also said IMPD was making their own decisions that weekend. Many business owners in downtown Indy are angry because they believe it is the choice to back off which gave instigators enough room to cause destruction, and by that time, officers were no longer in a position to handle it.
Today, over 40 downtown business owners, IMPD officers and fire officials met for a meeting to discuss next steps to address the destruction. The feeling among them is the mayor’s administration is not doing enough to help downtown businesses survive and thrive.
“Today, the group that we had, no one had met with the mayor,” John McGoff, president of the Columbia Club, said. “In fact, we invited the mayor’s office. Not only did they not attend, but they didn’t even respond to our request.”
Mayor Hogsett told us he met with at least a dozen board members from the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association recently. Those members include the owner of St. Elmo Steak House, Cafe Patachou’s Owner, General Manager of the JW Marriot Hotel and the President and CEO of General Hotels Corporation.
Thursday, Hogsett is expected to attend a public safety meeting with several business owners and IMPD.