INDIANAPOLISOn Tuesday, House Bill (HB) 1006 passed out of the Indiana Senate with unanimous support. The proposal was an Indiana Black Legislative Caucus priority item this session and would do multiple things including banning chokeholds under certain circumstances, requiring de-escalation training of officers, mandating agencies to request a potential officer’s previous employment records and making it easier to penalize officers who engage in misconduct. Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary) released the following statement on the passage of the proposal:

“I’m extremely pleased with the advancement of this bill and the overwhelming bipartisan support it has received,” Sen. Melton said. “HB 1006 was drafted directly from the demands of Hoosiers and was a priority for the IBLC this year. Last year, we saw a series of racially charged incidents where law enforcement officers engaged in improper and harmful behavior towards members of the Black community. Following the events and protests of last year, we knew that this was the year to see progress in addressing some of the issues in our criminal justice system.

“Over the summer, the IBLC held multiple town halls where we met with community members, law enforcement officers, faith leaders and activists to discuss police reform legislation that they wanted to see this year. I’m pleased that we were able to incorporate so many of their requests into HB 1006, and that this body was able to work in a collaborative and bipartisan fashion on this effort. The fact that we were able to move this bill through the General Assembly with so much support on both sides of the aisle was truly incredible to see, and I look forward to this bill advancing to the governor’s desk. 

“I also want to commend Rep. Steuerwald, Rep. Shackelford, and Sen. Young for their incredible work on this bill. This is a historic piece of legislation and is a good first step in beginning to address and improve relations with law enforcement. As a Black man in Indiana, seeing this proposal pass with overwhelming unanimous support gives me hope for our future, and I will continue supporting and fighting for legislation that works to improve our criminal justice system.”