INDIANAPOLIS — A group of concerned clergy members has called for IMPD Police Chief Randal Taylor to step down.
This comes after multiple officer-involved incidents this year.
Reverend David Greene with The Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis said another family is grieving the loss of their loved one.
Last week, Gary DeWayne Harrell was shot while running away from police.
“There is a pattern. The repeated explanation for these egregious acts is the same. The officers failed to follow their IMPD training and policies,” said Greene.
He wants IMPD to release the body-worn camera footage of the shooting.
“So, you need to go ahead and release it to the community,” said Greene.
“Chief Taylor has remained committed to maintaining positive police-community relationships by reducing violent crime, investigating and solving major crimes, and maintaining high levels of training for officers,” said IMPD in a statement.
Reverend Greene said it’s not enough.
“There has to be a new chief in place to begin working with the community and building stronger community relationships. That can hold officers accountable for their training,” said Greene.
Reverend Greene is calling for Chief Taylor to resign, and he wants Mayor Hogsett to begin an open search for a new chief with input from the community.
Hogsett did respond to the calls for Taylor to resign in a statement this afternoon.
He said that IMPD had added many accountability measures under Chief Taylor’s leadership ranging from body cameras, critical incident review videos, and civil majorities using force boards.
“The work of IMPD has been critical in reducing criminal homicides by 16% last year, and an additional 12% this year, alongside declines across other major crime categories. Chief Taylor has my support,” the statement read.
Read IMPD’s entire response below:
Chief Randal Taylor has spent 36 years in law enforcement, serving 30 of them in Indianapolis.
Since becoming Chief in 2020, he has worked tirelessly for our city, the department, and its employees to be transparent and accountable. He has directed the department to be laser-focused on protecting every neighborhood and all those who live, work, and visit our great city.
Under his leadership:
- The IMPD implemented body-worn cameras and more than 1,400 body worn cameras have been distributed and equipped to officers.
- In 2020, the department began releasing critical incident videos which are shared on social media.
- These videos aim to strike a balance between preserving the integrity of the investigation and our desire to be as transparent as possible with the community.
- Prior to releasing these videos, Chief Taylor meets with a community group who reviews and provides feedback on the videos, as well as the process for developing the videos.
- Since 2018, all IMPD officers receive implicit bias training and de-escalation training.
- Officers attend Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) training, which teaches officers the importance of intervening to prevent and stop police misconduct.
- Under Chief Taylor’s leadership, the Use of Force Board and General Orders Boards were created. Both have a majority civilian representation.
- The General Orders Board examines police policies and considers possible changes.
- The Use of Force Review Board reviews instances in which police officers use force and then determines whether their actions violated IMPD policies. This begins once prosecutors and police have completed the criminal investigation of an incident.
- Chief Taylor, with the input from the community, re-wrote the Use of Force policy to include the proportionate use of force, the duty to intervene, a requirement to provide medical aid, and strictly prohibiting the use of chokeholds.
- Chief Taylor prohibited the use of no-knock search warrants.
- The disciplinary process was overhauled with input from the community and the Civilian Police Merit Board.
- For the past two years, Chief Taylor has hosted virtual town halls in every police district to update residents on the department and its initiatives. These town halls included a direct question-and-answer session with Chief Taylor and IMPD leadership.
- In April 2023, IMPD held a Spanish-speaking town hall with the Hispanic and Latino communities.
- As of August 9, 2023, criminal homicides are down 12%, non-fatal shootings are down 12% and below 2020 levels, robberies continue a year after year decline, down 7% compared to 2022.
His entire tenure, Chief Taylor has remained committed to maintaining positive police-community relationships, reducing violent crime, responding to 911 calls for service, investigating and solving major crimes, and maintaining high levels of training for our officers.
Ensuring processes are followed and maintaining the integrity of any investigation are essential to true accountability. We owe it to those directly involved, our community, and our officers.