IMPD to Beef Up Diversity Training, Rewrite Use of Force Policy

July 14, 2014 | 93.1FM WIBC | Link to Article  

Changes follow Aaron Bailey shooting; Hogsett says city must acknowledge "the weight of hundreds of years of history"

INDIANAPOLIS -- The shooting of an unarmed suspect is prompting some tweaks to policy and training at the Indy Metro Police Department, aimed at reassuring the public it's taking seriously the issues and fears the death raises.

IMPD revised its use-of-force policy last year, but will rewrite the policy to make it clearer what officers should and shouldn't do. Chief Bryan Roach says the principles won't change, but says the wording has become overly legalistic over the years. The department will also create a special board to formalize the review which already takes place whenever an officer uses force, deadly or otherwise.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the city will review its diversity training curriculum, and will bring in consultants from outside law enforcement to give officers at IMPD's training academy a broader perspective on unconscious biases that can shape reactions.

The fatal shooting of Aaron Bailey last month by two officers is being investigated internally, by Marion County prosecutors, and by the FBI. Hogsett says the in-house investigation will be conducted "expeditiously, and as transparently as possible."

The Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, which has demanded immediate criminal charges against the officers, issued a statement applauding the training and policy changes as "the first time a city has responded with a resounding commitment to change the system."