STATE HOUSE–Protests over the death of George Floyd, and “Sean” Reed, in Indianapolis, may have given a boost to efforts to push police and criminal justice reforms in Indiana. The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus is sending a document to Gov. Holcomb, requesting executive orders to change policies, based on what happened to Floyd.
“We will not let another unjustified black death go unnoticed without change,” said Caucus Chair Robin Shackleford, on the steps of the Indiana state house Friday morning.
She said that since the legislature is not in session, the Caucus is urging Holcomb to issue an executive order banning police from using choke holds, or any other type of restraint that cuts off air, as a means to make an arrest.
“This order must include specific repercussions the officer must face for violating this ban,” she said.
Shackleford said that if there is no action from the governor, she urges mayors around the state to consider making those bans for their cities.
Shackleford also said all police departments should be using body cams.
“We urge these entities to immediately implement the use of body cameras for all patrol officers and require them to be on at all times,” she said.
The Caucus is also urging the formation of a state-wide criminal justice commission to review all police procedures and root out racist policies. Shackleford said that commission should include “a diverse appointing of civilian representatives” from cities with significant African-American populations.
Shackleford said a civilian review board should also be formed in each municipality, which would be independent from any government entity.
She did not say how the state would pay for, or help pay for any of the commissions or boards, but did say that there will be a follow-up in the 2021 legislative session. One of the requests for next year will be forming a state database for citizen complaints against law enforcement.
Shackleford said she has not heard from Holcomb about any of the Caucus’s demands.
“I think now is the time that people are saying we are fed up enough, that no matter with COVID, no matter our pain, we are gonna come out and stand up. And, I’m hoping our leaders will listen.”