Civil Rights Groups Want Federal Probe Into Officers' Actions
NAACP, Concerned Clergy: Teen Was Beaten By Officers
Last Updated: 1086 days ago
Some civil rights groups are calling for a federal investigation into the actions of four Indianapolis police officers accused of excessive force and racism in the arrest of a 15-year-old boy last month.Four white officers have been placed on administrative duty after the arrest of Brandon Johnson, 15, a biracial boy who they say tried to incite a crowd, leading to a "riotous situation" as officers tried to arrest his younger brother.But Johnson's family said the police beat the boy, bloodying his face, breaking his nose and chipping his teeth.Members of the Greater Indianapolis NAACP and the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis rallied on the steps of the federal building downtown on Tuesday, wearing T-shirts with graphic pictures of Johnson's injuries, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.They said they want a federal investigation into what they call a case of police brutality."We are going to make sure our community knows that we're here to support them. We're not going to take the racial slurs and any of that kind of force from the police," said local NAACP President Chrystal Ratcliffe.State Rep. Bill Crawford, D-Indianapolis, said he is sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, along with pictures of Johnson's injuries, requesting an "impartial, objective analysis of what happened.""We want an independent investigation, period, end of story," said Elder Lionel Rush, a member of the Concerned Clergy.Public Safety Director Frank Straub released a statement on Tuesday reiterating that the Police Department's Professional Standards Division is conducting an "objective and thorough internal investigation.""I am confident that the quality and integrity of IMPD's internal investigation will be consistent with, if not exceed, the standards of the police profession," the statement read. "If the United States Department of Justice wishes to review our investigation, we will make it available to them upon completion."Some who live in Johnson's neighborhood said they don't see why a federal investigation is needed.Greg and Shala Sparks, who said police were in the area because of home break-ins, support the officers."The kid getting beat is a bad thing. I have a son and I don't want to see that happen to him," said Greg Sparks. "But if you are in the wrong, breaking into a home, and a cop asks you to stand back, you are supposed to stand back."Indianapolis public safety officials are expected to speak on Thursday to explain the Police Department's use of force, as well as arrest procedures and techniques.No formal charges have been filed against Johnson in the incident. A hearing has been set for Thursday in juvenile court.Johnson and his family did not attend Tuesday's rally.