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Justice for DeShon Downing! A collective statement

On August 2, two IMPD officers fatally shot Deshon Downing, a beloved father, husband, son, and community member. This is the latest in a string of police brutality episodes this summer.

At the present moment, the official police narrative is not only incomplete, but contradicts itself. At an August 7 interview with the press, IMPD Chief Roach refused to answer some basic questions about the incident, and was unable to answer others. Citizens’ accounts of the events that night, as well as video, contradict the narrative the officers are portraying.

The police have, however, been absolutely forthcoming about any information they have about Downing that could disparage him in the eyes of the public. Meanwhile, the officers who shot Downing remain anonymous and on paid administrative leave.

As this is an all too familiar situation in Indianapolis, there are clearly deep systemic issues–all of which have been articulated by community organizations and leaders–that need to be addressed. While we continue to fight for these changes, in the case of DeShon Downing, we demand that Chief Roach, Terry Curry, Mayor Hogsett, and the Merit Board:

  1. Release all video footage of the encounter and its aftermath to the public;
  2. Inform the public of the names of the involved officers;
  3. Fire the officers;
  4. Press charges against the officers without convening a grand jury and without a special prosecutor.

Signatories (in alphabetical order): AFSC Indiana, American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky, ANSWER Indiana, Rev. Darren Chittick, Dee Ross (Community Activist), Economic Freedom Fighters of Indiana, IMPD Transparency, Indiana Trans Hivemind, Indy10 Black Lives Matter, Jewish Voice for Peace of Indiana, Queering Indy, Wanda Savala (Community Activist)