Two Indianapolis police officers have been indicted by a Marion County grand jury for their use of force against two women downtown May 31.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced the indictments Aug. 12 at a press conference.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Jonathan Horlock has been indicted on charges of battery (Level 5 felony), battery resulting in moderate injury (Level 6 felony), battery resulting in bodily injury (Class A Misdemeanor), perjury (Level 6 felony), obstruction of justice (Level 6 felony) and official misconduct (Level 6 felony).
IMPD officer Nathanial Schauwecker has been indicted on charges of battery, battery resulting in moderate injury, two counts of battery resulting in bodily injury and two counts of official misconduct.
Two other IMPD officers were not indicted.
Officers Horlock and Schauwecker were seen on video striking one woman, Ivore Westfield, with batons while she was also hit with pepper balls after she twisted out of the arms of an officer.
One of the officers then pushed another woman, Rachel Harding, to the ground.
The incident happened the first night of curfew in Indianapolis at the corner of North Pennsylvania and East Washington streets.
Mears did not distinguish the officers seen in the video from one another. The grand jury process is tightly guarded, so Mears could also not discuss what evidence was presented, who testified or other details.
An indictment is a finding of probable cause. The criminal case will now proceed in Marion County Criminal Court 6.
A grand jury — which includes six people who are summoned in the same way people are for regular jury duty — considers the evidence presented and makes a determination about if the officers’ actions were reasonable.
“When we’re talking about issues about reasonableness, that’s very much a standard that’s going to be defined by the community,” Mears said.
Mears also said there should be a better system for people who feel like they’ve been victims of excessive force. Right now, the only option for those people is to complain to IMPD, whose officers are responsible for the force.
“I would like to think there’s a better system set up where we’re in a position to have someone independently evaluate those claims,” Mears said, “and hopefully that’ll make people more willing to come forward and provide information.”
In a statement responding to the indictments, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said he intends to address the administrative review of the officer conduct after the criminal investigation.
Taylor also announced officers Horlock and Schauwecker will remain on administrative duty with no police authority.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announces indictment charges against two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers during a press conference Aug. 12. (Photo/Tyler Fenwick)