INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A prosecutor said he has opened a criminal investigation into Indianapolis police officers who were caught on video using batons to subdue a black woman at a protest over the death of George Floyd.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears disclosed the investigation during a meeting of the Indianapolis City-County Council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday.
The video recorded May 31 by WISH-TV shows a black woman who was being held from behind by a white male officer escaping his grasp and then being surrounded by several other officers. There are audible pops heard and the video shows several clouds of spray near the woman that are believed to have been caused by detonated pepper balls. Two officers strike her with batons until she falls to the ground, and she is then pinned face-down by a baton at the back of her neck. Officers also pushed over a second woman who questioned their actions.
The incident occurred on a downtown sidewalk during the start of a curfew on May 31. It happened during one of numerous demonstrations in Indianapolis that were part of the nationwide protests against the killing of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving.
Mears said the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department completed a separate internal affairs investigation of the baton incident before his office was approached to take over.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said at the virtual meeting that the officers’ actions made him uncomfortable.
“I didn’t like what I saw,” Taylor said.
The officers involved in the incident have been reassigned to a different detail, Taylor said.