Rally: Force out “Force in Focus!”

Wednesday, May 8
1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
The Heirloom Indianapolis
230 W McCarty St.

When the Hilton Indianapolis unilaterally canceled its contract hosting the Force in Focus symposium, it was a direct result of community organizing. While this was a major victory that caused delay and confusion within the pro-cop event organization, they eventually secured a new venue: The Heirloom Indianapolis. Set to take place from May 7 to May 9, The Citizens Concerned About Police Action Shootings Coalition is urging all citizens to unite with us against this event!

Last year, 18 people were shot by IMPD. This is unacceptable at the most general level and even more so given the racial breakdown of the shooting victims. Black people compose 28.8% of the population and 94.4% of IMPD shootings in 2023. Black people have been the victims of 72.2% of IMPD shootings since 2014. Force in Focus organizers claim it aims to “[reinvent] policies that prioritize transparency and community engagement.” In Indianapolis, additional transparency, including the statistics mentioned above, has allowed us more insight into the number of Black people killed by cops, but it certainly has not resulted in any increase in accountability for these shootings, and it has certainly not led to a decrease in their frequency.

While people remain fiercely concerned about police accountability, events like Force in Focus flaunt its nonexistence. This is exemplified by the symposium’s choice of keynote speaker. They have selected Kim Potter—a former officer who served only 16 months in prison for the murder of Daunte Wright, a Black man—as one of their keynote speakers. 

This event, far from increasing accountability for police and decreasing instances of excessive use of force, will only worsen conditions for those of us on the receiving end of police violence. The “law enforcement professionals” who will gather at the symposium surely include the very same ones that justify their deployment of snipers because of the existence of rocks at a pro-Palestine protest at Indiana University Bloomington. Organizers of Force in Focus claim their event seeks to “[foster] meaningful discussions that transcend political divides.” We see this “transcendence of political divides” very clearly in the violence and oppression police are currently inflicting upon these university students: It is done at the behest of the Democratic and Republican elite alike!

Increased transparency has not delivered on its promises for a decrease in police shootings, for a reduction of racial disparities in policing, or for holding police accountable for their actions. We demand Force in Focus leave Indy. We demand the police be held accountable! We demand true justice! Jail killer cops!