INDIANAPOLIS —After months of community pressure from Faith in Indiana and other grassroots groups, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department adopted a new use-of-force policy that requires de-escalation, limits the use of deadly force, bans chokeholds, and sets duty to intervene standard after community pressure. This policy is a strong step in the right direction, but until civilians have real oversight of IMPD, policies like this will fall short. That's why Faith in Indiana stands with the city-county council to add civilian oversight to the IMPD General Orders Committee, create a new use-of-force board, and scale-up group violence intervention.
South Bend —Faith in Indiana leaders organized for more than a year to change the discipline guidelines for South Bend police officers. Leaders held a press conference prior to the Board of Public Safety Meeting to express support for the new police discipline matrix, which passed unanimously by the board.
“Just like COVID-19, it is evident that the killing of an unarmed Black people is an urgent public health crisis. And we say enough is enough," said Rev. Clavel Hunter, with Berean Seventh Day Adventist Church and a member of Faith in Indiana.
The matrix categorizes potential officer violations, labeled I-VI, and assigns each category a range of penalties for first, second and third offenses.
Fort Wayne —By the end of next year, at least 100 FWPD officers will wear body cams, and all uniformed police officers will be required to wear a body camera by the end of 2022. This is a win for Faith in Indiana leaders and partners who pressed for more accountability in policing, but there is still work to be done. The current policy does include procedures for officers who opt to turn off their cameras or a citizen board to review footage.
Fort Wayne —Nontombi Naomi Tutu, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, joined Faith in Indiana at Promenade Park where she spoke along with protesters who said they had alarming interactions with police during the George Floyd protests in late May and early June. She echoed Faith in Indiana’s call for Fort Wayne Mayor Henry to end white supremacy and reimagine what policing can be.
After three weeks of organizing for his release, Faith in Indiana leaders are celebrating Jorge Oliva’s freedom from ICE custody. Jorge, a Fort Wayne resident was taken by ICE after his participation in a Black Lives Matter rally. He has a deportation hearing set for August, and he plans to continue to support the movement for Black Lives.
"I'm a sacrificial pawn. If I have to use my case in order to give people strength and courage to speak up, I'll do it all over again. I'm still going to do it," he told Fort Wayne NBC news. "I'm not backing down, I'm not giving in, and I am not going to stop the momentum we have going," Oliva says.
INDIANAPOLIS —The Indianapolis rental assistance program received 10,118 applications in the three days before it was suspended. The $25 million rental relief fund is part of the $80 million COVID-19 relief package Faith in Indiana helped get passed by the city-county council in June.
The fund is aimed at supporting our entire community, including our undocumented neighbors and is a direct result of the actions of 2,500 religious leaders who gathered on the digital public board #WhoCaresForUS on May 21 to lift the steps city officials can take to care of those who take care of us.
SOUTH BEND —Faith in SJC wins 2 new free testing sites on the west side, communities of color and in FaithIN congregations!
Learn More About the BREATHE Act
The BREATHE Act is presented by the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives. This visionary bill divests our taxpayer dollars from brutal and discriminatory policing and invests in a new vision of public safety—a vision that answers the call to defund the police and allows all communities to finally BREATHE free.
Faith In/And Democracy Podcast features FaithIN Executive Director Shoshanna Spector
Listen to this episode of the Faith In/And Democracy featuring a conversation with our executive director Shoshanna Spector about organizing during the pandemic and re-imagining community in a virtual space.
Everyone should be able to participate in our democracy. Yet, for too long the few have had their say over the many by keeping us divided. Our opponents promote racial fears to turn out white voters, pit working people against each other and against good government. This can be overcome. Faith in Indiana invites our partners to learn how we can be victorious in 2020 and beyond. Join us to build the choir of activists and campaigns mobilizing our base and persuading the middle.
Fr. Ybarra served as President of Faith in Indiana over the last year. He was called by his order ‘Congregation of Holy Cross’ to serve a new parish community near Phoenix AZ. Pastor of St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church in South Bend, he is a founding member of our St. Joseph County Chapter. Join us in sending Fr. Ybarra best wishes on his next chapter.
Faith in Indiana 212 W 10th Street, Suite F-175 Indianapolis, IN 46202 317-759-3370
Faith in Indiana is a 501(c)(3) organization. Faith in Indiana and its chapters are strictly non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for public office. We are not affiliated explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party.