IMPD making key changes to use of force policy, according to mayor and police chief

WXIN Fox 59 (Indianapolis)
June 5, 2020

Read the article and watch the full recording of Mayor Hogsett’s announcement (57 minutes) at the source.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will update its guidelines for the use of force.

Mayor Joe Hogsett outlined eight key changes during a Friday news conference with IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. A press release from the mayor’s office detailed the following:

  1. Create clear standard for use of deadly force: The Use of Force Policy proposes that IMPD adopt the standard for deadly force adopted by California in Assembly Bill 392. By adopting this language, IMPD can ensure training is clear and consistent with current best practices.
  2. Update our requirement for identification and warning before deadly force: The proposed Use of Force Policy updates the requirement for identification and warning before deadly force can be utilized in line with national best practices.
  3. Prohibit the use of chokeholds: While IMPD training does not consider chokeholds an appropriate technique, the proposed Use of Force Police explicitly prohibits the use of this tactic.
  4. Outline clearly defined de-escalation requirements: IMPD has been implementing de-escalation training for some time, and there are de-escalation provisions in the existing General Order 4.7, which relates to mental health issues. However, this proposal would explicitly outline de-escalation guidelines in the Use of Force Policy itself.
  5. Define an officer’s duty to intervene and report when another officer uses inappropriate force: This was not previously in IMPD’s Use of Force Policy and is now included in the proposed Use of Force Policy.
  6. Prohibit shooting into moving vehicles: The proposal, submitted to the General Orders committee today, includes a clear prohibition on shooting into moving vehicles, as well as a prohibition on shooting from a moving vehicle.
  7. Require comprehensive reporting of lethal and non-lethal uses of force: Coupled with existing General Order 1.31, this proposal will require comprehensive reporting of officer uses of force.
  8. Clearly specify rules for using various levels of less-lethal force: This change contains principles consistent with continuum of force principles currently being discussed nationally.

Hogsett called the move a “modernization” of IMPD’s use-of-force policy, which was last updated in 2016 when the mayor took office.

“Once these policies are implemented, we will have a better city,” Hogsett said.

Taylor has submitted a new draft of the policy, which will be available for public review. He said the policy changes have been in the works for a while.

Both Taylor and Hogsett expressed gratitude for peaceful protests in Indianapolis and hoped they would continue to be peaceful. Marion County will be under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. both Friday and Saturday.

The new policy comes as protests continue around the world against racial injustice after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In Indianapolis, protests will continue Friday for the eighth-straight day. Many plan to gather at 4 p.m. at IMPD’s Northwest District since it was a Northwest District officer who shot and killed Dreasjon Reed last month.

Demonstrators have walked the streets of the Circle City for days demanding an end to police brutality, more accountability from police officers, and an end to racial injustice. They say they will continue to do so until real change happens. Protesters hope city officials have been listening to them and that real change happens.

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