INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis community leaders are sharing their reaction and concerns over the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols, who died just three days after five Memphis police officers beat him in early January.

The Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis and Baptist Minister Alliance shared a statement extending “deepest sympathies” to Nichols’ family.

“It was painful to watch and see somebody be kicked in the face, basically sucker punched,” said Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis President Rev. David Greene. “It’s so dehumanizing as a person.”

Greene said the videos of Nichols being severely beaten, released on Jan. 27, has an impact on the whole country.

”It not only impacts Memphis, but it impacts the Black community,” he said. “Because people see that, and they think they’re going to be nervous at the next traffic stop. ‘Is this going to happen to me?'”

The Memphis police officers responsible were a part of the Scorpion Unit, which patrolled areas with high crime to reduce violence. 

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor said Indianapolis units are different.

“Our specialty units are usually assigned a target. They’re not just out looking, in general making traffic stops and those kind of things,” Taylor said.

Greene and Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis also asked for more transparency in the investigation into the death of Herman Whitfield II in April 2022. Whitfield’s death happened after officers restrained him while responding to a mental health call. The Marion County Coroner ruled his death a homicide. Greene compared Whitfield’s death to Nichols’ death.

”Both of them have died, and both of them should still be alive,” Greene said. “They should not have died from the encounter they had with police.”

Greene also wants police to release the body-camera footage of the police shooting of Anthony Macklin. Officers shot Macklin three times on Dec. 31 after he had been sleeping in a car in his grandmother’s driveway. Macklin survived.

”We know that this information is somewhat instantaneous with this body-cam footage. This is technology, you got nothing to gain by trying to delay it six months,” Greene said.

Greene commended Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis for her quick actions in Nichols’ case.

“She made a swift decision that will allow the community to say this appears to be a transparent process,” Greene said.

The Memphis Police Department released the video of Nichols being beaten 20 days after it happened.

Comparatively, it took two months for IMPD to release an edited version of the body-camera footage from Whitfield’s death. IMPD was court ordered in November to release the entirety of the body-camera footage from Whitfield’s arrest unedited.

In Macklin’s case, it has been almost a month, and IMPD has not released the footage of him being shot.

”We’ll eventually do that. We’re just not quite there yet,” Taylor said. “Still trying to put things together and make sure we’re clear on what happened there.”

MPD has now fired six officers involved with Nichols’ death. Five of them have been charged.

Chief Taylor said a resolution in the Whitfield investigation is in the court process right now. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office did not have an update.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said he and Taylor are always looking for ways to police better. Taylor said he has conversations with other chiefs and residents to figure out what their concerns are.