INDIANAPOLIS – Right now, half of Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers have been trained on the department’s new “use of force” policies.
The policies come amid national calls for police reform.
“Proportionality is new. I’ll admit there are some people who are a little nervous about it, but like I said, I think the time is right for it. I think we operate within it. I think all we’ve done now is put into policy and we’ve defined it,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.
But there is a problem—the new policies aren’t approved by the state board that regulates police training. The Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board sent a letter to the chief Wednesday that the new rules weren’t board-approved, as required by state law.
“Our job is to very objectively, not subjectively, but very objectively review all curriculum,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter.
Carter, who chairs the board, said the group creates training standards for all 18,000 police officers. This new policy may not meet the standard—or a Supreme Court ruling about excessive force and “objectionable reasonableness.”
IMPD’s proportionality rules raised a red flag.
“If you come at us with fists, that means that hopefully we wouldn’t shoot you for that. Right?” Taylor said. “We would try to use a tactic that’s much lower than that.”
The board also took issue with a chokehold ban.
“In reality, if that’s all the officer had to save their life then we would review that, but we’re not looking for officers to use chokeholds,” Taylor said.
While the board members welcome change, they’re giving IMPD two weeks to explain the policy changes.
“For the next two weeks we’ll collaborate and we’ll do the very, very best we can to sit down with the leadership within IMPD and I’m confident we can come up with a with a reasonable resolution,” Carter said.