November 5, 2010
CARSON STATEMENT ON RULING BY POLICE MERIT BOARD
INDIANAPOLIS - Congressman André Carson today released the following statement in response to this morning's ruling by the Indianapolis Police Merit Board.
"As a leader and concerned citizen in our community, I am deeply troubled by this morning's decision by the police merit board, which I fear will further erode an already frayed relationship between IMPD and the Indianapolis community.
"We cannot have safer streets if our citizens do not trust the very people who are sworn to protect and serve them. As a former law enforcement officer, I know the boundaries that officers must work within in order to defuse situations. My chief concern with this case is the message it sends about that fine line between appropriate force and excessive force. Does this ruling signal that restraint should not be a chief consideration when the police engage members of the public? That's a disturbing question that must be answered after this morning's decision.
"Mayor Ballard, Chief Ciesielski and Public Safety Director Frank Straub must ramp up their work with IMPD and members of the community to ensure that the circumstances surrounding the Brandon Johnson case are not repeated ever again.
"Residents of Indianapolis have a right to be upset. My hope is that we express our concerns in a strong but peaceful way, with a focus on solving - not escalating - the problems before us. Our best hope in moving our city forward is to work together with all levels of leadership within IMPD, local government and the community."
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