Last spring, our city suffered two consecutive nights of rioting and looting that left downtown Indianapolis in shambles. Months later, many businesses and residents in the area have yet to recover.
It was later learned by WIBC that IMPD officers were told by the Mayor’s office on the first night of the riots to “stand down.” Further, it was discovered that multiple officers who were not scheduled to work on the second night of the riots had offered to report to duty and assist their fellow officers; however, no one bothered to return their calls.
In other words, the IMPD was severely handicapped in their response to the riots as a direct result of the choices that were directly made by the mayor’s office and a failure by IMPD leadership to maximize the number of officers that were available to help quell the violence as it unfolded.
Of course, that’s not how the Mayor’s office sees things.
On Friday, a three-member commission appointed by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released their review of the incidents and police response surrounding the riots downtown. That report faulted IMPD officers for a lack of training and preparation as a primary factor in the protests getting out of hand.
The 44-page report also laid blame on IMPD for not expressing enough “empathy” with the protesters and responding with tactics that may have exacerbated the “protestors'” anxiety.
Protesters apparently told the commission that the presence of IMPD officers in “riot gear…raised the temperature of the crowd significantly.”
Fun Fact: When responding to violent riots, officers will often wear riot gear. The reason they wear riot gear is that they are responding to a RIOT.
Abdul-Hakim Shabazz from IndyPolitics.org joined the Hammer and Nigel Show Friday to discuss the “Final Report of Independent Review Panel: Regarding the Response of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to the Community Protests of May 29-June 1, 2020 in Downtown Indianapolis.”
Click below to listen.