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Al Sharpton hammers on Mayor, IMPD for pattern of bad behavior

PoliticsRegional AuthorityGovernmentSafety of CitizensElectionsJustice SystemAl Sharpton

The Reverend Al Sharpton got a standing ovation and rounds of applause as he hammered on headlines that continue to make news in Indianapolis.

"You cannot have a battered race syndrome in Indianapolis where you keep getting beaten and run over by drunk police," said Sharpton referring to the David Bisard deadly drunk cop case.

Sharpton acknowledged teenager Brandon Johnson as the main motivation for his return to Indianapolis to speak before a crowd of about 700 at Eastern Star Church on the east side. Johnson's bruised face and photos of it have been front page news for months.

In recent weeks Officer Piland was cleared by the IMPD merit board and allowed to keep his job. While the Chief called for his termination, the Board found after testimony from police witnesses and Piland himself, that he did not use excessive force on Johnson. Sharpton found that incredulous.

"You may have rendered your decision but this ain't over," said Sharpton as the crowd in the pews cheered. " For him to walk away with those bruises and nobody pay for it," said Sharpton, "This is something we are not going to walk away from."

Sharpton said he plans to open a satellite office for his ministry in Indianapolis. He said IMPD has shown a pattern of injustice he plans to take the matter to Washington D.C. and the U.S. Justice Department for investigation.

Dr. Stephen Clay head of the Baptist Ministers coalition also spoke and called out both Mayor Ballard and Public Safety Director Frank Straub. He called on citizens to vote on another Mayor in the next election.

"He said his number one job was public safety. Mr. Mayor, you have failed in the area of public safety," said Clay.  

He then fired off at Straub.

"We have a public safety director whose style is more paralyzing and polarizing than unifying, and as a result police morale is non-existent. Public safety is broken in Indianapolis."

Sharpton talked about the Mayor's refusal to meet with the Minister's Alliance. No one from the city's administration with Ballard was in the audience. Sharpton sent out a warning: "With me hanging around town you're going to wish you had met with Dr. Clay and the ministers."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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PoliticsRegional AuthorityGovernmentSafety of CitizensElectionsJustice SystemAl Sharpton