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[Content warning: description of police brutality]
IMPD Chief of Police Randal Taylor said multiple times in today’s press conference that violent incidents of police brutality were “one-off” and that IMPD was moving “swiftly” to curb such behavior. Matthew Shores, who has over 300 uses of force, 58% of which were against Black residents who only make up 28% of the city’s residents, shows that this is clearly not a one-off incident and one that IMPD has not acted swiftly or seriously enough to address. We lack faith in the leadership of IMPD to handle these issues, and call on Chief Taylor to resign immediately.
Prior to this potentially deadly assault, the man was seen calmly saying “Nobody cares what you do” to another officer on the scene, who tells the man to “lean back.” He asks, “How the fuck am I going to lean back when the fuck you’re holding my belt?” The video shows the officer holding the man’s belt as the officer begins to wrestle the man backwards and then onto the ground. The man was already in handcuffs and was not moving, let alone “resisting.”
One officer begins to say “We’re not gonna do this, right?” as Huxley walks up and viciously curbstomps the man. As soon as he does this, the officers present begin telling the man who has just been assaulted “You’re done! You’re done!” and asking “Are we done now?” Nothing is said to Huxley–neither of the other two cops present says or does anything to suggest they believed he had acted incorrectly, immorally, or even in contravention of IMPD General Orders. They accept it as totally routine, an expected part of the job. Racist police terror is clearly the norm at IMPD.
In the conference, Taylor made no apology to the man brutalized by his officers, or to the community that daily receives abuse just like it, unseen and unpunished. Instead, he apologized to those abusers’ enablers: “My apology not only goes out to the men and women of IMPD that do it right, but every other law enforcement officer in this state and in this country, because I know these videos, when they’re seen, there’s gonna be people they are gonna say ‘That’s what they’re all like!’ and let me tell you, that’s not what they’re all like.”
A “good cop,” if such a creature exists, would have stepped in to stop the abuse when it was happening. The fact that this was caught by reviewing paperwork and comparing it to body camera footage–a practice that assuredly does not catch every similar act–tells us that Sergeant Kibbey (2020 “Supervisor of the Year”!) and Officer Shores didn’t even report it later. What good cop?
Huxley’s termination will be decided by the Merit Board, an antidemocratic body despite multiple superficial reforms. This Board voted to overturn dismissals in the past, most notably in the 2017 police murder of Aaron Bailey. Killer cops Carlton Howard and Michal Dinnsen continue to carry a badge and gun after the Merit Board overturned their terminations; they now are in the sickening position of advising officers from their new positions elsewhere in the department.
Randal Taylor must resign. Eric Huxley must be convicted. Drop the charges against Vaughn. No justice, no peace.
Signatories, listed alphabetically
Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance
Indy10 Black Lives Matter
Indy SURJ – Showing Up for Racial Justice
Jewish Voice for Peace – Indiana
Palestinian Youth Movement
Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis
St. Paul’s On The Way
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