INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has yet to determine how he will respond to calls for justice reform.
The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus said, during a meeting last week, the governor did not commit to addressing their demands.
“He didn’t make any promises,” said IBLC Chair State Rep. Robin Shackleford. She added he didn’t share opinions, either.
“We even asked him, what was some of the feedback he was getting from his side of the aisle? his colleagues? If he did want to ban the chokehold or any of these initiatives that we put on here,” explained Shackleford.
She said the governor did say he is working on addressing the issue of justice reform. Press Secretary Rachel Hoffmeyer issued this statement:
The governor had a productive meeting with the caucus. He continues to engage in regular conversations with a variety of stakeholders and values their input. He will consider all of the their recommendations as we continue to work to build consensus throughout Indiana’s 92 counties and multiple levels of government. As the Governor mentioned in his statewide address in early June, he will have an announcement regarding short term and long term steps for the state to take to address disparities. The Governor shared with the caucus that he is going to be very thoughtful and inclusive about those plans and expects to make an announcement this summer.
We also received a statement from House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) on this topic.
“I recently had a very productive meeting with leaders of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus,” Huston said. “My pledge to them was that our team would continue working with them to improve our criminal justice system.”
What the IBLC wants most is a commission, committee or task force on the topic.
“Not only civilians, but also some law enforcement, from judiciary, some state agencies and everyone that deals with criminal justice and get them involved,” said Shackleford. “I know the supreme court is very interested in this topic.”
They want this studied now, so, lawmakers can’t say it wasn’t thoroughly vetted next session.
“This is the time that we need to be meeting about this,” said Shackleford. “Just like we put together the Minority Health Disparities Task Force, you can still, in this short time, put together a commission to look at this or a task force before we get in session.”
A task force assigned by the governor for law enforcement training last year already revealed a need for reform. In part, it found the state needs scenario-based training, consistency, cooperation with higher learning institutions and major technology upgrades. See some of the report below.