I didn't post this yesterday (though I will backdate it), because I wanted to stop and think things over. I wanted to develop a timeline.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did some very good work in the past week. And they did some things that didn't work out -- the initial response to protesters downtown last weekend was extremely adversarial and appeared to increase tensions.
They also did things that were wrong. Pepper-spraying a protester who doused an officer with the contents of a water bottle looked excessive; and then a video emerged of IMPD arresting a couple of young women, ostensibly protesters, for being out after curfew. It wasn't a calm encounter on either side; but one side was lightly dressed and unarmed, while the other was armored and had -- and used -- greater numbers, pepperballs, nightsticks, hands, knees and handcuffs.
The video made the social-media rounds without much context. It finally emerged that it happened last Sunday, before the march to the Governor's residence, before the IMPD changed their approach from confrontation to co-mingling and low-key situation management, and hard on the heels of nights of rioting, dumpster fires and looting.
Our local paper has a timeline of events. The incident is being investigated and I guess we'll see how it is handled. This shouldn't be swept under a rug. Emotions were high, there's no question about that, but when one group of emoters has qualified immunity, deadly weapons and less-leathal weapons, I think they also have a lot more responsibility to be the "adults in the room."
It probably should have been a teachable moment -- but if so, it still took a Deputy Mayor to explain the lesson and help apply it, last Monday. It has been sticking so far and I hope IMPD will build on it.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
5 months ago