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Skepticism, hopefulness regarding IMPD's new review board

Chief makes it official Friday
Posted at 11:57 PM, Oct 30, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is updating its procedures when it comes to officers using force. It's a move Chief Randal Taylor says will better protect officers and citizens.

The new Use of Force Review Board will determine whether department policy was followed when firing a weapon or getting into a physical altercation. The board will be made up of the captain of the IMPD Training Academy, three officers, and five civilians. The group will review incidents, but will not be able to recommend discipline.

Community organizers are skeptical, but hopeful about this new board.

"I think that it's important for the public to see tangible things that are happening because of the public pressure they're applying and that have been called for by various social justice organizations," Jessica Louise with Indy10 Black Lives matter said.

Louise and Mat Davis, Co-Chair of Indiana Racial Justice Alliance, tell WRTV they believe the new board does not go far enough in holding police accountable. They focused particularly on the power IMPD Chief Randal Taylor will have on the board.

"The chief will have the final say over five different people that the city council and mayor will be presenting to him, but ultimately he gets the final say," Davis said.

"The chief of police will have the final say in what disciplinary action is taken against officers who engage in deadly force," Louise said.

In Friday's announcement, Chief Taylor along with Mayor Joe Hogsett were both quoted, saying this is another way the police department can build trust between police and the community. Davis and Louise are still skeptical

"Honestly, it's just a slap in the face because of the excessive force that was used in this year. I know 2020 has been a long year, but that was just May," Davis said

"It'll be interesting to see how Chief Taylor establishes his legacy with this board," Louise said.

Plans for the board have been in the works since 2017.