The African American Coalition of Indianapolis has been involved in discussions about the need for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to create a Use of Force Board with civilian representation for nearly three years.
We are hopeful with the endorsement of the Chief of Police, Randall Taylor, the Mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, and the President of the City County Council, Vop Osili that a board with non-police affiliated citizen representatives will become a reality.
We are frustrated however that the preliminary proposals have been inconsistent with the kind of civilian oversight our community deserves.
We therefore explicitly state what we support and recommend:
- The Use of Force board should have a civilian majority.
- Civilians are defined as citizens who are not city government employees or those affiliated with IMPD or police affinity groups.
- We do not believe the Citizen’s Police Complaint Board has a high level of trust of the community, thus for it to have representation on the Use of Force board would be counterproductive and some might also see it as a clear conflict of interest.
- The Use of Force Board should make recommendations for discipline.
- The Use of Force Board case dispositions should be public record and available for broad distribution throughout the community.
A recent study from the American Review of Public Administration found that IMPD officers use higher levels of forces on Black citizens. We find this data about the use of force disturbing. Now is not the time to present a version of the Use of Force Board to be perfected over time. This must be done at its creation to regain any semblance of legitimacy of IMPD with the community.
African American Coalition of Indianapolis Steering Committee
About the African American Coalition of Indianapolis
The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) is a non-partisan collaboration of African-American civic, social, professional, service and community organizations with a goal to educate and engage African Americans in the local, state and national political process.