State Rep. Cherrish Pryor shares petition against anti-community policing bills

IBLC, News & Media

INDIANAPOLIS — State Representative Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) shared a petition on change.org, calling for action against bills that would take policing power away from the community.

“What we’re seeing now is some legislators in the supermajority at the Statehouse attempting to overturn a City-County Council’s decisions and strip a community of its power,” Pryor said. “It’s unacceptable.”

The petition is in opposition of several bills: Senate Bill 168, Senate Bill 311, Senate Bill 394, House Bill 1427.

“While some legislators heard the call from the community and put forth bills to help improve the system,” the petition states, “Other legislators chose to advance legislation that protects bad police officers, giving them more cover to cause harm and foment additional mistrust in the community.”

Pryor is calling for people to sign the petition, spread the word to better the community and contact their state legislators.

“This past summer, people marched and proclaimed the names of too many Black people unjustly killed by police officers,” Pryor said. “Our work is not done, but it’s not futile. We will continue to take steps forward and refuse to slide an inch backward.”

Senate Bill 168, which Pryor spoke out against previously, would place the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department under the control of the state.

Senate Bill 311 would allow an officer to disregard the order mandated in a use of force continuum, effectively dismissing IMPD’s new set of policies that emphasized de-escalation. It states a county, city or town cannot adopt any policy that would prohibit or restrict use of force — a limit on any city’s governance over its own police department.

Both Senate Bill 394 and House Bill 1427 would eliminate civilian-majority General Orders Boards, which the City-County Council recently created in response to calls for action.

“These bills are a direct attack on Indy and its residents,” Pryor said. “Our voices rang loud and clear this past summer, and some members of the General Assembly are turning a deaf ear.”

Nationwide protests gripped the country after the death of George Floyd, and in Indianapolis, police-involved shootings sparked further outcry. Indianapolis business leaders also support police and social justice reform; both drug company Eli Lilly & Co. and engine maker Cummins voiced their opinions in favor of community control last summer.

“We will make our voices heard, again and again if needed,” Pryor said. “We will not give up this fight for equality and justice.”

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