Abdul At Large
Mixed Messages Out of the Mayor's Office?
Monday morning at the Mayor’s breakfast, an Indiana Black Expo tradition, Joe Hogsett said he was accountable for the police action shooting that took the life of Aaron Bailey. The Mayor was speaking metaphorically of course. He talked about making “systemic changes” to the police department and urged those on both sides of the issue to get all the facts before making a judgment. That was Monday.
On Thursday, however, things seemed a little different. On Thursday Dominic Dorsey (pictured above on the left) was presented with a “Young Lion” award for his social activism. Dorsey is a local community activist one of the leaders of the “Don’t Sleep” movement, a cadre of social justice warriors. I am told he was presented the award by David Hampton, Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods, during Expo’s ecumenical service. And that’s where the mixed messages come in.
You see the group Don’t Sleep has been raising hell lately about the Bailey police action shooting. Well Don’t Sleep has called for a criminal investigation and charges to be filed against the officers involved, even though there are two investigations already pending. Here’s the text straight from their website…
On June 29th IMPD officers shot to death Aaron Bailey, an unarmed Black man. IMPD has vowed to review training and increase transparency, but we’re interested in immediate accountability, beginning with the termination of officers Mike Dennison and Carlton Howard.
We want criminal charges filed against both officers. We want no grand jury. We want a special prosecutor. We want justice! We demand it! We will be hearing from several local organizations in support of these efforts as well as the family of Aaron Bailey.
They’re also planning a protest rally this Saturday at the Statehouse.
Here’s what’s odd about this. Hampton is the Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods and one of the top people in Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration. Two IMPD officers are under investigation for their actions, and he’s giving an award to one of the main voices calling for them to be criminally charged. Am I missing something here?
What position does this put Mayor Joe Hogsett and the administration in? What does this do for the men and women in IMPD? What does this do for the leadership of the Department? Does Hampton think the officers should be criminally charged? What kind of message does this send? Did anyone let Expo know about Dorsey’s statements regarding the officers before he got the award? And what does this do with for the overall fight against crime and building relations between the police and certain segments of the community? And how does this impact what Hogsett is trying to accomplish.
Lots of questions and one big mixed message. Hopefully, there will be some clarity soon.
Photo: Indy Politics