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Black lawmakers calling for justice reform measures

Governor responds
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Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 23:54:25-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus is calling for a series of justice reform steps which were outlined at a Friday news conference.

Here's a look at the IBLC's proposals:

· Urging Governor Holcomb to issue an immediate executive order to immediately ban law enforcement chokehold restraints, or other measures of restraint that cut off the ability to breath as a means of making an arrest. This order must include specific repercussions officers will face for violating this ban.

· If there is no action by the Governor, we urge Indiana mayors, city councils and chiefs of police to immediately establish a local policy that outlaws the use of chokehold restraint, or other means of restraint that cut off the ability to breath as a means to making an arrest. Additionally, we urge these entities to immediately implement the use of body cameras for all patrol officers and requires them to be on at all times. If not, a penalty should be assessed.

· We urge the Governor to immediately establish a Statewide Criminal Justice Commission, including a diverse appointing of civilian representatives from other cities with significant African American populations to examine every aspect of our state’s criminal justice system and recommend comprehensive criminal justice reform, including the eradication of racist policing policies. We expect these recommendations to become bills that get passed in the 2021 legislative session.

· We urge Indiana mayors, city councils and chiefs of police to immediately establish local independent civilian review boards, with members selected by local community activist groups, to review public complaints of police violence.

A few hours after the news conference, Governor Holcomb said he had a short meeting with the IBLC Friday and was planning more meetings. "They're going to be a very important, make a very important contribution here," Holcomb.

The governor said there is a "sense of urgency" to get justice reform measures passed.