IndyCAN E-newsletter, July 2017

In this issue

En Espanol


IndyCAN & community partners demand justice for Aaron Bailey

Indianapolis to be the first U.S. city to require implicit bias training for officers

Following the June 29 fatal police shooting of Aaron Bailey, faith leaders with IndyCAN urged swift action to secure justice for Bailiey's family and refroms to IMPD. In an unprecedented show of unity across the community, IndyCAN, Don't Sleep and many more partners organized agressively with prayer vigils, rallies, letters to the editor, and hundreds of calls to Prosecutor Terry Curry that led to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's announcement of 'first-in-the-nation' reforms.

Mayor Hogsett’s plan includes enforcing changes in the Indianapolis Metro Police Department’s (IMPD’s) use-of-force policies, as well as implementing implicit bias training for IMPD officers. This makes Indianapolis the first city in the nation to require implicit bias training for its officers.

"From Mike Brown to Philando Castile, and now Aaron Bailey, it's hard to hold out hope for different outcomes between police and communities of color," said Juard Barnes, pastor and organizer with IndyCAN. "Even though we are encouraged by the reforms announced by Mayor Hogsett, there is nothing that can bring Aaron back to his family and his community."

IndyCAN is committed to hold Mayor Hogsett and Chief of Police Bryan Roach accountable to deliver on the promise to bring justice to Aaron Bailey's family and safety to all black and brown people who live in fear of law enforcement.  

Nearly a month later, no criminal charges have been filed against the officers. Given the failure of our nation's justice system to convict in countless clear cases of murder involving African American fathers, brothers and daughters at the hands of a police officer, IndyCAN and our community partners remain steadfast that there is no hope of justice for Aaron Bailey's family until Prosecutor Terry Curry appoints a special prosecutor, denies the request for a grand jury, and ensures full criminal charges are filed against the officers involved.

Above: Aaron Bailey's family members speak at the 'Justice for Aaron Bailey Rally sponsored by Don't Sleep and I. Photo courtesy See more photos.

See also

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Nearly a hundred people of faith gathered to pray for individuals and families affected by ICE detainers at an IndyCAN prayer vigil in June.

ICE Detainers end in Indy!

IndyCAN leads efforts and WINS!

IndyCAN celebrated a victory with Hoosier immigrants after Indianapolis Sheriff John R. Layton agreed to end the city’s compliance with detainers by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), through an injunction filed on Monday, July 10.

“Detainer requests” are the practice of holding vulnerable immigrants in jail without probable cause on behalf of ICE. The Indianapolis Star reports that, since President Trump’s inauguration, ICE has arrested more than 41,000 individuals in the U.S., which is a 37.6 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Locally, 277 people have been arrested in Marion County from January to May, which is a staggering 240-percent increase over the same period last year.

“This decision gives me and my family hope that one day, everyone could feel safe in the city that we love,” said Juan Garcia, IndyCAN leader at St. Monica Catholic Church. “This victory shows us when Blacks, Latinos and people of faithful action link arms, we can break down systems of mass criminalization.”

IndyCAN, YOU made this happen! This includes clergy and lay leaders, as well as partners like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, SEIU Local 1, UniteHere and many more. We stood to put families first! And we won!

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IndyCAN commits to act, so everyone who calls Indianapolis home is safe

Accompany families, become a Rapid Responder!

“My heart aches at the possibility that my unborn child may never meet his father. Our lives would change completely. Juan only wants to make a good life for our family. We need him.”

These are the words of Rosa Rosales (shown at right with Juan and their daughter), an American citizen married to Juan Hernandez, an IndyCAN congregation member who is now at risk for being deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Juan and Rosa have a 17-month old daughter and are expecting another child. In 2014, Juan was pulled over for turning right at a red light, after not seeing a “No Turn on Red” sign. During the stop, police wrongly identified him as someone who had a criminal record, and they notified ICE. ICE officials allowed Juan a “stay of removal for hardship,” since he is the sole breadwinner of the family, as long as he checked in with the ICE office once a year. This month, when he reported for his ICE check-in, he was arrested and put on the fast-track to deportation.

Rosa’s cousin, Alma Figueroa, said, “When he reported to the ICE office in Indianapolis, ICE was already waiting for him. He was put in handcuffs in front of his screaming 1-year-old. When my cousin [Rosa] asked why, they just said, ‘He’s illegal.’”

Since being in custody, Juan was not only worrying about the future of his family, he was suffering pain from an undiagnosed inner ear infection. For four sleepless nights, ICE officials would not allow Juan to get medical treatment. Thanks to persistent pleas from his wife and other people of faith, Juan has gotten the medical treatment he needed, as well as a reasonable-fear interview that occurred on Tuesday, July 25. Juan and his family have been told they should know the results by the end of the week.

Why the sudden change to fast-track status?

Even though Juan dutifully attended his ICE check-in’s over the past three years with no problem, the rules of the game changed. Juan’s status, lack of criminal history and dedication to his church, family and business have not changed; the priorities of President Trump’s administration has. (See related ICE detainer article for statistics on increasing ICE detainer numbers since President Trump entered office.)

When President Trump entered office, he said ICE would prioritize deporting illegal immigrants who had criminal records. Yet, it’s now clear that ICE is prioritizing all immigrants, even individuals who have no criminal history at all. In the words of a local ICE community relations officer — “Now there are no priorities.”

Want to protect families of all backgrounds?
Become a Rapid Responder!

Immigrant families. African Americans. Religious minorities. IndyCAN vows to stand in solidarity with all families being targeted by law enforcement. With stories like Juan Hernandez’s experience and the tragedy of Aaron Bailey’s story, it is clear we must fight together to end the criminalization of people of color by protecting families and advancing institutional reforms, so everyone can feel safe in the city they call home.

This is why IndyCAN launched IndyCAN Watch, a hotline for individuals and families to call if they are confronted by ICE or traumatized by local law enforcement. By calling (317) 759-9474, trained IndyCAN Watch leaders will arrive within five minutes to provide on-site support.

IndyCAN is actively seeking volunteer support for the Rapid Responder roles. Rapid Responders receive special training to provide on-site support to the caller and their family, record the incident on video and in writing, connect the caller with resources and begin community action.

Sign up to be a Rapid Responder today.

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Representatives from IndyCAN - from left: Paul Babcock, John Grice, Ron Frieson, Derris Ross and Rev. Juard Barnes – attended the Peacemaker Partner Awards in Los Angeles, where PICO's LIVE FREE Campaign was awarded a $2 million grant from Google to help reduce gun violence in 10 U.S. cities including Indianapolis.

Good news from inaugural Peacemaker Partner Awards in Los Angeles

Indianapolis among 10 cities benefiting from $2 million Google grant to reduce gun violence

On June 22, delegates from IndyCAN's LIVE FREE team and the Mayor's office headed to Los Angeles for the inaugural Peacemaker Partner Awards, hosted by the Community Justice Reform Coalition (CJRC).

The two-day event provided an opportunity for leaders from across the nation to look at strategies and policies that are proven to drastically reduce violence, as well as honor leaders who have fostered change in their communities.

Already taking steps to turn what they learned into action in Indianapolis, delegates included;

“Hearing about the work that CJRC and PICO Live Free officials are doing and getting to be part of that dialogue in breakout sessions was really inspiring,” said Derris Ross, IndyCAN leader "We're ready to hit the street to save lives and scale up what we know works in Indianapolis for the long haul."

IndyCAN named Google 'Peacemaker' Partner

During the event, PICO’s Live Free campaign announced that Google has granted $2 million to support local efforts to reduce gun-related homicides and decrease mass incarceration. The announcement of the grant was made as a part of the launch of the Peacemaker Partnership, a coalition led by LIVE FREE and the CJRC.

Through this partnership, Live Free and the CJRC will work with partners and organizers in 10 U.S. cities — including Indianapolis — that have the highest rates of gun violence and homicides.

Other communities supported by the grant will include: Chicago, Ill., Milwaukee, Wis., Miami Gardens, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Gary, Ind., Oakland, Calif., New York City, N.Y., Cincinnati, Ohio, Dallas, Texas. Read the official CJRC announcement.


** Breaking! Jail Diverison Gets Funded by Council**

Taking a critical step to implement strategies to divert thousands of people entangled in the criminal justice system into mental health and addiction treatment instead of incarceration, the City-County Council voted to approve $267,050 in mental health and behavioral treatment and diversion programs in Marion County Jail.  

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The health care fight isn't over.
Our lives are on the line. 

Tuesday, Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, which passed 51-50, to open the floor debate on Affordable Care Act repeal, one step in a GOP plan to dismantle our healthcare system putting millions of lives on the line. 

“The GOP plan does not stop at ACA repeal. 22 million seniors, children, people with disabilities will lose healthcare if GOP plans which include radical changes to Medicaid and Medicare succeed,” warns Rosie Bryant, IndyCAN community organizer. “We can not let up until everyone’s health care is safe.”

Each version of this destructive bill:

  • Takes health coverage away from 18 million people next year and eventually 32 million Americans by 2026.
  • Increases insurance premiums, while giving the richest households $50,000 in tax breaks every year.
  • Cuts Medicare funding by $487 billion over 10 years, while Medicaid and other health care programs will be cut by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Currently, 48 million seniors and 9 million young people with disabilities rely on Medicare for their health care coverage, and 70 million low-income Americans rely on Medicaid, an assistance program for low-income people of all ages.
  • Enacts a “per capita allotment” to limit state Medicaid spending, meaning states that exceed the “per capita allotment” for their senior or disabled enrollees would have to either find other ways to pay for the coverage costs or reduce their Medicaid spending.

Take action with these two steps!

IndyCAN pledges to continue fighting for every American’s equal right to health care. Take action by:

  • Hold a 'LIVES ON THE LINE SABBATH' and bear witness to 22 million children, seniors, and people with disabilities in danger of losing thier healthcare by calling your members of congress and reminding them of the value of life.
  • Attend IndyCAN's Healthcare Strategy Session Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. Together we will make plans for a Town Hall Meeting with Members of Congress during the August Recess. If President Trump's budget moves forward as proposed millions of dollars will be stripped from the nation's Healthcare programs in favor of a surge in ICE deportations and policing directed at tearing apart communities of color.  

    Register now to attend the Aug. 8  healthcare strategy session.
  • Keep Calling your members of congress!
    Representative Susan Brooks – (202) 225-2276
    Senator Joe Donnelly – (202) 224-4814
    Senator Todd Young – (202) 224-5623

A timeline of the health care debate

Getting confused about the status of health care? See this helpful, developing timeline at Here are a few highlights:

  • Jan. 20 – President Trump signed an executive order to eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate that required Americans to buy health insurance.
  • Feb. 26 – House Republicans released a draft of their health care bill proposal, known as the “American Health Care Act.”
  • March 24 – House speaker Paul Ryan officially canceled the vote on the AHCA because of lack of GOP support.
  • May 4 – The House passed an updated version of the AHCA.
  • June 22 – Senate Republicans released a draft of their health care bill proposal, known as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).”
  • July 17 – With four more GOP senators (Susan Collins, Paul Rand, Mike Lee and Jerry Moran) voting “no” to the current version of the BCRA, Republican Majority Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell announced the failure of the repeal and replace bill to pass.
  • July 25 – With Vice President Michael Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, Senate Republicans voted 51-50 to open the floor debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare.
  • NEXT STEPSinclude:
    • 20 hours of debate (10 hours for each party)
    • a Vote-a-Rama (a rapid-fire consideration of amendments)
    • the final vote by the Senate and the House.
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Celebrations in Our Community

  • On July 9, the General Assembly voted to elect Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owensas the next General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), making her the first African-American woman to lead a major denomination. Read the IndyStar article.
  • Pope Francis named Bishop Charles Thompson of Evansville, Ind., as the new Archbishop of Indianapolis on June 13. Read more about him in the Criterion Online Edition. Watch the press conference video.
  • Sister Tracey Horan is one of the newest members of the Sisters of Providence based at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, having just taken her first vows of “poverty, chastity and obedience" on June 25. Congratulations and special blessings to you, Sister Tracey!
  • Adriana Zermeño joined IndyCAN on July 17 as a bilingual, executive administrative assistant. Adriana’s main role will be to help manage the administrative functions of IndyCAN’s main office or “Mission Control,” as we like to call it! This is a temporary, four-month position. Welcome, Adriana!
  • Nicole Barnes, IndyCAN operations manager, was recently accepted into seminary at Christian Theological Seminary. Although her schedule will be adjusted, she plans to continue her work at IndyCAN while pursuing her three-year, Master of Divinity degree. Congratulations, Nicole!
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Healthcare Strategy Meeting

  • Tuesday, Aug. 8. 7 p.m., 
  • Location to be announced.
  • Register now to let us know you'll be there!

Indianapolis Congregation
Action Network (IndyCAN!)
337 N. Warman Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
(317) 759-3370



About IndyCAN. IndyCAN is a non-partisan, multi-faith, multi-ethnic organization and is not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office. IndyCAN works to improve the quality of life for residents of the Indianapolis Region.

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