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Last updated March 5, 2020
No knock warrants
Indiana has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. At the local level, Indianapolis police announced in July 2020 that no-knock warrants would no longer be authorized for Indianapolis police officers.
Pending Legislation: SB 269, introduced in January 2021, bans no-knock warrants.
Indiana has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.
Military style training
Indiana has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage.
Indiana has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.
Civil asset forfeiture
The Indiana State Legislature passed SB 99 in 2018, which expedited court rulings and the eventual return of property.
However, Indiana Code Title 34 still permits the practice of civil asset forfeiture for law enforcement offices. Additionally, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld civil asset forfeiture in 2019 in response to the SCOTUS case "Timbs vs. Indiana" regarding forfeiture by police departments. This court's ruling conflicted with the Indiana Constitution, as the court indicated that police departments could profit off of forfeiture.
Pending Legislation: SB 24, introduced in January 2021, requires a criminal conviction for asset seizure. Another related bill, SB 341, bans the practice of 'equitable sharing' of asset forfeiture investigations and profits with the federal government. SB 341 also directs certain civil forfeitures to the United Way of the county where the seizure occurred.
Indiana has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests.
Cost of misconduct
Indiana has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct. In Indianapolis, the city has paid out $6.1 million in misconduct settlements since January 2018.
Pending Legislation: In August 2020, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus unveiled comprehensive reform goals for the upcoming legislative session, including requiring the Attorney general to collect data on misconduct offenses and funds spent to settle misconduct cases.
Indiana has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering.
Pending Legislation: Four bills introduced in January 2021 would affect the criminal status of marijuana; HB 1028, HB 1117, HB 1154, and SB 223. The most comprehensive, HB 1154, legalizes marijuana and establishes a regulatory agency to ensure "a sufficient number of dispensary permits are awarded to minority business enterprises and women's business enterprises."
Objective justification for stops
Indiana has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).
Reporting stop details
Indiana has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found).
Reckless civil rights violation
Indiana has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.
Indiana has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.
Pending Legislation: In August 2020, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus unveiled comprehensive reform goals for the upcoming legislative session, including requiring an automatic external investigation when unarmed/retreating civilians are shot.
Indiana has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.
Mental health response
The Be Well Crisis Helpline, which was established in July 2020 by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, connects individuals with accredited counselors in situations pertaining to mental health. Although the installment of this resource mainly appears to correlate with the increasing mental health conflicts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it provides individuals with an alternative to calling 911 amid a mental health crisis. Indiana residents can utilize this helpline without charge by calling 2-1-1.
Education, Housing, Community Health Resources
It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.
Notably, in August 2020, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus unveiled comprehensive reform goals for the upcoming legislative session, including studying racism as a health crisis
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