3 Officers Demoted In Bisard Flap Tell Their Story

Former Commanders Say They're Scapegoats

Three Indianapolis police commanders who were demoted in the wake of the crash involving Officer David Bisard in which a motorcyclist was killed and two more were injured testified before a City-County Council committee.

Darryl Pierce, John Conley and Ron Hicks, all lieutenants with the department, spoke to the Law Enforcement Study Commission to explain their role in the investigation, 6News' Dan Spehler reported.

Pierce had been assistant chief before his demotion prompted by the bungled investigation of the Aug. 6 crash.

"We followed the protocols and the practices of this police department," Conley said. "We followed them to the tee. The citizens of this city and this police department mean everything to me, and at no time would we do anything to compromise an investigation into something like this."

Attorneys for Pierce filed a tort claim earlier this month, seeking punitive damages and loss of income from the city.

Bisard was accused of driving drunk while on duty, but a blood draw had to be thrown out because of procedural errors.

None of the officers who testified Wednesday said they thought Bisard showed any sign of impairment at the scene.

"I did not smell alcohol on Officer Bisard’s person, nor observe any mannerisms that indicated he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs," Pierce said.

According to an internal review of the incident, the handling of the scene as a crash scene instead of a crime scene resulted in the loss of valuable evidence related to the crash.

Bisard was allowed to collect personal items from the crash vehicle without supervision, and despite the presence of two police executive staff members, including Pierce, no one seemed to be truly in charge of the investigation at the scene, the internal review said.

"Ron and I did not see this taking place and knew nothing of Bisard removing property from his car until it became a so-called issue a week later," Pierce said.

"There's no question in mind they're being scapegoated," said Bill Owensby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "It gives them a public forum to tell their side of the story, and it's one we've been trying to tell since day one."

None of the demoted officers commented to 6News after the hearing.