June 22, 2020

Mayor Follows Criticism With More Details About Protest Response Review

Mayor Follows Criticism With More Details About Protest Response Review

Taylor Bennett and Robert Moscato-Goodpaster

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced further details regarding the independent review of the public safety response to protests. This comes after the Marion County GOP and leaders of a Community District Resource Council, CDRC, criticized the city's responce to the May riots and its antiviolence initiatives.

Eight members of the southeast side CDRC resigned last week, and GOP leaders said in a Sunday June 21 statement that it was one of the most effective CDRCs.

“Mayor Hogsett’s failed leadership driving away good people from important roles in our community," said Brian Mowery, Indianapolis City-County Council Minority Leader. 

In a press release Monday, the mayor didn't directly respond to that criticism, but he did provide the name of those who will conduct an independent review of the protest response -- the Response Review Committee, RRC. 

The members of the RRC are:

  • Deborah J. Daniels, partner at Krieg DeVault LLP and former U.S. Attorney and U.S. Assistant Attorney General; she has previously conducted an independent review of USA Gymnastics and was involved in the nation’s response to the September 11 terrorist attack.
  • Myra C. Selby, partner at Ice Miller LLP and former associate justice of the Indiana Supreme Court; she chairs the Court’s Commission on Race and Gender Fairness and previously directed healthcare policy for the state of Indiana.
  • Dr. Sean L. Huddleston, president of Martin University; he has previously served as Vice President and Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer for the University of Indianapolis and on the advisory board for the Indiana Diversity Council.

“I want to thank the members of the RRC for their expert leadership in what will be an independent, comprehensive assessment of our law enforcement response during a crucial moment in our nation’s history,” Hogsett said. “This review will give our community a clearer understanding of the events that transpired at the start of this month, and will be a guiding document for tailoring law enforcement responses in the future.”

The RRC will look at evidence relating to the law enforcement response to demonstrations, evaluate officer adherence to current departmental policies and provide recommendations on prospective policy changes.

Deputy Communications Director, Mark Bode told WFYI in an email that Hogsett is committed to neighborhood-focused efforts.

"Mayor Hogsett continues to prioritize community-based violence prevention efforts as an important complement to traditional safety operations," Bode said.

Bode said the city's recent launch of a community-driven public safety initiative will also help make findamental changes in public safety.

"[It] will invite residents and local leaders from across the political spectrum." Bode said. "All are welcome, and in fact encouraged, to participate."

The letter of resignation from the eight leaders of the southeast side CDRC accused the city of encouraging the riots and criticized unnamed leaders for "speaking of defunding, dismantling, and disbanding the policedepartment."

Chief Brayn Roach proposed six CRDCs in March 2017 to address and prevent violence. The groups aim to bridge the gap between community members and police. The councils addressed violent crime by creating programs such as youth clubs, educating people on gun laws, sharing crime trends with IMPD, and offering advice on how to best police their neighborhoods.

The RRC will be fully independent from the city administration. IMPD has pledged transparency and complete cooperation throughout the process. The mayor’s office plans to publish the final report in its entirety by the end of the year.

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