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Despite community backlash, council approves more funding for IMPD

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A tense interaction between community members and the city-county council led to the removal of members of Indy10 Black Lives Matter during the July 12 meeting at the City-County Building.

Members of Indy10 and others opposed Proposition 182, a $3 million plan that targets gun violence in Indianapolis neighborhoods and provides an additional $1.5 million to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).

The additional money to IMPD will fund information gathering and intelligence work, upgrade internal technology infrastructure, and hardware, increase staff levels for data work and create an officer intervention system to increase accountability and provide an early warning when officers deviate from departmental standards.

The proposal passed with a vote of 23-2, with Keith Graves, D-District 13, and Ethan Evans, D-District 4, voting against it.

“Violence looks like a lot of different things,” said Kyra Jay, organizer for Indy10. “Somebody talked about food deserts, that’s violence. People not being able to go sleep somewhere in a bed, that is violence right there. So, what you are going to do today is committing an act of violence.”

During her public comments, Jay said, “You guys don’t even give a fuck.” City-Council President Vop Osili, D-District 11, admonished Jay. “You’re done cursing,” he said.

The tension escalated when Indiana State Police officers walked behind Jay to escort her from the podium.

“Oh, so you’re gonna arrest me now …. You’re gonna call your pigs on me?” Jay asked.

Osili replied, “No one is trying to arrest you, just no cursing up in here.”

Jay and Jessica Louise, another organizer of Indy10, led the small group being removed from the meeting in a chant, “Take it to the streets, defund the police, no justice, no peace.”

For several minutes, those in the chamber heard Indy10 members yelling outside.

“For my people, we’ll gladly disrupt this bullshit ass meeting,” Louise said, returning briefly to the chamber before being escorted back out.

The other $1.5 million in the proposal will go toward community-based programs that aim to reduce domestic violence, add mental health expertise to dispatch, increase funding to juvenile intervention and expand staffing capacity at the Assessment and Intervention Center.

Prior to the city-county council meeting, members of Indy10 and the Party for Socialism and Liberation gathered at Monument Circle to voice their opposition to Prop 182.

Activist Doris Jones said the money should go toward funding schools and other resources.

“We don’t need more people killers,” Jones said.

While marching to the city-county building, protestors chanted “Protect and serve, that’s a lie! You don’t care if people die!”

Contact staff writer Terrence Lambert at 317-924-5243. Follow him on Twitter @_TerrenceL_

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