2 cops charged with battery in protesters' arrestsAugust 13, 2020
By CASEY SMITH
Report for America/The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — A grand jury indicted two Indianapolis police officers on battery and other charges following an investigation into allegations that they used excessive force while arresting demonstrators at a May protest over the death of George Floyd, a prosecutor announced Wednesday.
Johnathan Horlock, a five-year veteran with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, faces three counts of battery and one count each of official misconduct, perjury and obstruction. Nathanial Schauwecker, who has been with the department for eight years, faces four counts of battery and two counts of official misconduct.
“The question here is whether the officers' conduct was reasonable or not,” Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said at a news conference. “You can’t say, ‘Hey, my training told me to do this,’ if that conduct turns out to be unconstitutional, or excessive.”
Two women, Ivoré Westfield and Rachel Harding, both of Marion County, are named as victims. They filed a federal lawsuit in June after video was released of officers using batons and pepper balls to subdue the them during their May 31 arrests in downtown Indianapolis.
Video of the arrest, recorded by WISH-TV, shows Westfield, who is Black, being held from behind by a white male officer, escaping his grasp and then being surrounded by several other officers. There were audible pops and several clouds of spray near Westfield, which the lawsuit contends were caused by detonated pepper balls. Two officers struck her with batons until she fell to the ground, and she was then pinned face-down by a baton at the back of her neck.
Harding, who is white, could be seen and heard in the video shouting, “Why her? Why her?” Another officer then rushed Harding and shoved her to the ground, where officers subdued her.
Neither woman was charged with any crime.
Among other things, grand jurors were asked to consider the level of threat posed by the individuals being arrested, Mears said.
Police Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement Wednesday that Horlock and Schauwecker will remain on administrative duty while an internal investigation continues. Taylor said he intends to address the administrative side of the officers' conduct following all criminal proceedings.
Two other officers who were involved, Sgt. David Kinsey and Officer Conrad Simpson, do not face charges at this time, Mears said.
More on DuboisCountyHerald.com
In just one week, Ryan Menke of Holland will be swimming across the Hudson River.
Out of all eight Indiana State Police posts built when ISP was formed in the 1930s, the Jasper...
Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County announced the selection of the Armstrong family to partner...
Recently, I had to contend with an epic battle between good and evil: To doughnut or not to...
The Dubois County 4-H Fair ran July 12-16 at the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds in Bretzville....
Josie Brown contemplated while her horse, Scotty, took a break to chew on some grass. The two...
Indiana Department of Transportation workers have several projects underway in the area.