47.1 F
Thursday, November 26, 2020

National Association of Black Veterans call for transparency, justice

More by this author

Police have a legitimacy problem to address first

Lauryn Smith sat on the sidewalk during a sit-in on Indiana Avenue earlier in September and thought about whether it’s actually possible for police...

City leaders, community members disagree on demilitarization

When protesters came face to face with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers downtown May 30, the anger and confusion from the crowd was...

IU School of Medicine to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine will be looking for volunteers to receive a two-round COVID-19 vaccination when the trial resumes in...

Substance use disorder stigma: the ‘scarlet letter’

They say when white folks catch a cold, Black folks get pneumonia. The saying usually applies to economic disparities, but what about when white...

The Indianapolis chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS) held a press conference July 2 to go over a list of demands for Mayor Joe Hogsett and the city, as well as to discuss a meeting representatives of the group had with Hogsett earlier in the week. 

Curtis Godfrey, a former commander in the United States Army, began the press conference at the site of Dreasjon Reed’s death. Reed, a 21-year-old Air Force veteran, was shot and killed by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer DeJour Mercer on May 6 following a car chase. 

“There have been far too many injuries, and in many cases, deaths, [due to police],” Godfrey said. “We met with the mayor and his special counsel, and we’re here today to honor our Air Force veteran who was killed by an IMPD officer-involved shooting. … We’re here for the sake of transparency.”

Dave Rozzell, a minister and retired Navy senior chief, read a letter written to Hogsett requesting a meeting, along with the list of demands from NABVETS. Among them are the creation of a Human Rights Council in lieu of a police review board and the release of documentation regarding the May 31 incident involving IMPD officers and two women downtown, as well as the release of Reed’s autopsy report. 

“We could no longer take this without expressing our concern,” Rozzell said. “Enough is enough. We expect each officer protects and serves each American citizen, or we will have to protect and defend ourselves.”

Rozzell said the June 30 meeting with Hogsett and Special Counsel Tim Moriarty lasted about an hour, and said the mayor seemed responsive — even sympathetic — to the issues NABVETS brought forward. 

Rozzell read from a letter presented to Hogsett during the meeting, listing more demands from the organization. 

“Our community has the right to know the facts,” Rozzell said, referencing the May 31 incident involving IMPD and two women, one of whom was Black. “Officers beat an unarmed female, as if they were pursuing a fugitive … or a wild animal, for being downtown 10 minutes after curfew. … That was truly unacceptable and all those involved must be held accountable.”

Rozzell also argued that Mercer must also be held accountable for the “execution-style killing of Dreasjon Reed.” The group is also calling for an end to qualified immunity.

“We are encouraged, we’re hopeful,” Godfrey said of the group’s meeting with Hogsett. “It’s going to hurt, whatever the decisions are that are made by the mayor and the city. But it’s necessary. If it means we have a reduction of police, then that’s what we’ll do. … We, the people, allow you to police us. We allow them because we the people outnumber the police. … So, at this point, we’ve allowed them to police us for far too long, and it’s come to this unfortunate time that we must take dramatic measures to … prevent the loss of life.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

Commander Curtis Godfrey discusses NABVETS’ demands for the police department. (Photo/Breanna Cooper)

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest local news.

Stay connected


Related articles

Popular articles

Ethics and professionalism in the workplace

If you look up the word ethics in the dictionary, you’ll find this definition: “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally...

Cook Medical supplier facility coming to northeast side

A new manufacturing facility on the northeast side will bring up to 100 jobs that will average $16 an hour and include...

Meet the director of equity and inclusion at Washington Township Schools

This school year, the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township school board hired Dr. Erica Buchanan-Rivera to fill the newly created position...

‘Make or break time’: Black business owners counting on Small Business Saturday

Sandy Crain decided to take a leap of faith about a month ago. She had been saving money from her job at...

Sowing seeds by faith

“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those...
Español + Translate »
Skip to content