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Who will be the next IMPD chief?

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After former IMPD Chief Randal Taylor released a statement announcing he would be stepping down from his position in early December 2023, the question became, “Who will come next?” Whoever they may be, there is a job to be done for the community of Indianapolis. Let’s look at some of the challenges facing the Indianapolis community and the tenure of previous Chief Taylor.

Challenges for city:

The upcoming IMPD chief will enter the position with work to do. Community members questioned much of what took place during Taylor’s tenure including the multiple instances of officer-involved shootings, accusations of police brutality and new laws that were instated, such as the permitless carry gun law for Indianapolis citizens.

As of Dec. 25, in 2023 alone there were 18 officer-involved shootings, or “incidents where an IMPD officer operating in a law enforcement capacity intentionally discharges a firearm at another person,” according to IMPD statistics. Of the 18 incidents, 16 involved Black males. There were only 18 police shootings in three years under the IMPD chief before Taylor, Brian Roach.

Police brutality and the overall relationship between the community and IMPD officers have been questioned by Indianapolis community members as well. In August, the president of the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, David W. Greene, and the president of the Baptist Ministers Alliance, Dr. Wayne L. Moore, held a news conference calling for Taylor’s immediate resignation. They mentioned police brutality and officer-related deaths as problems Taylor had not addressed during his tenure.

In December 2023, the Indianapolis Liberation Center and its coalition against police brutality held a press conference speaking directly to the problem of police brutality and steps the city needs to take to fix this problem while highlighting an elderly veteran’s personal experience with police brutality.

These conversations among community members and leaders come a year after Indianapolis passed a law allowing all Indianapolis citizens above the age of 18 to carry a gun without a state-issued permit.

In an Indianapolis Recorder “Word on the street” series earlier this year, multiple citizens mentioned gun laws and gun violence as problems they want addressed during Mayor Joe Hogsett’s term.

“The gun laws and the abortion laws … Too many people carrying guns who are irresponsible with them, and that’s why we’re having all the deaths,” Earnestine Fulton, an Indianapolis civilian, told the recorder.

These are questions the next chief will potentially answer.

Randal Taylor steps down:

Taylor formally announced he would be stepping down as IMPD police chief after four years in the role in a statement released at the beginning of December 2023. Taylor, who has been in law enforcement for 36 years and with the IMPD for 30 years, said the decision was not easy, but prayer and conversations with Hogsett helped him come to this decision.

“I’m not leaving the department. I am going to be around for at least another year-and-a-half, God willing, just working in a different capacity,” Taylor said. “Hopefully, something to do with helping out victims’ families,” Taylor said in the statement.

Contact Racial Justice Reporter Garrett Simms at 317-762-7847

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