Indiana Black Legislative Caucus urges Gov. Holcomb to enact police reform measures, ban chokehold restraints

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus met on the steps of the Statehouse this morning to push for policy change and call for justice reform. 

During their press conference Friday morning, they laid out a list of reform action steps they’re asking state and local leaders to enact.

It is separated into two phases. The first phase is immediate action, and the second phase is legislative action.

For the first phase, the IBLC wants Gov. Holcomb to issue an executive order to immediately ban law-enforcement from using chokehold restraints or other means of restraint that cut off the ability to breathe. They say the order must include specific repercussions officers would face for violating the ban.

If there is no action by the governor, they want Indiana mayors, city councils and chiefs of police to establish a local policy that outlaws chokehold restraints.

“Additionally, 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. If not, a penalty should be assessed,” the IBLC said.

They are also urging Holcomb to immediately establish a statewide criminal justice commission with a diverse appointment of civilian representatives from cities with significant African-American populations. The commission should examine every aspect of the state’s criminal justice system and recommend comprehensive criminal justice reform, including the eradication of racist policing policies. 

“We expect these recommendations to become bills that get passed in the 2021 legislative session,” the IBLC said.

They IBLC also wants to see local review boards established to review public complaints of police violence.

In phase two, the IBLC will craft a legislative action plan with input from the public during their see virtual town halls on June 11 and June 25. 

They said the plan will include but is not limited to legislation pertaining to:

  • Recommendations from the statewide criminal justice commission
  • Statewide use of body and dashboard cameras
  • Statewide special prosecutor for police misconduct in use of fatal excessive force
  • Police reporting of lethal force involving law-enforcement
  • Statewide public database for citizens complaints against law-enforcement officers
  • Anti-racial profiling law
  • Enhanced penalties for officer involved shootings
  • Inclusive hate crime legislation
  • Ensuring FOP contracts are public record and requiring a public hearing for renewal
  • Mental health reviews for police officers
  • Confidential whistleblower complaint process for officers
  • Implicit bias, dispute resolution and de-escalation training for officers

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