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Indiana Black Caucus Pleased With Progress Of Justice Reform Agenda

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus Chair Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) discusses the caucus's justice reform agenda. (Screenshot of Zoom call)

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus says it’s pleased with progress so far this session on its justice reform agenda.

The major police reform bill of 2021 is well on its way. Supported by law enforcement, public defenders and key organizations in Black communities, the measure requires de-escalation training for all police officers. It treats chokeholds as deadly force. And it allows the state training board to “decertify” officers who commit misconduct.

Other parts of the Black Caucus’s agenda gaining traction: a bill to create a law enforcement misconduct database and an extension of the state’s current traffic amnesty program, allowing drivers to more easily get their licenses back.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Black Caucus Chair Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) said conversations with Republican leaders have been productive. And she’s pleased to see Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration working behind the scenes on the issue – though she wishes he were more out front, too.

“To help put a face on the issue and let people know that the leader of the state is behind most of this agenda and wanting to help out, I think that would greatly help,” Shackleford said.

Shackleford said she hopes the major police reform bill remains unchanged as it moves through the legislature.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.