INDIANAPOLIS — The attorney for two IMPD officers indicted by a grand jury spoke out on Thursday at a news conference after their initial hearing.
Both Nathaniel Schauwecker and Jonathan Horlock are being represented by attorney John Kautzman to help them fight felony battery and official misconduct charges.
During the news conference, Kautzman said his clients were simply following orders to enforce a curfew in the city and that neither of them have prior conduct issues.
"Make no mistake, they've been charged with felonies in trying to do their job the way they were trained to do it," Kautzman said.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears investigated the May 31, 2020 curfew arrests of Black Lives Matter protesters Ivore Westfield and Rachel Harding. Westfield suffered major bruising and open sores during the arrest. Their attorney, Terence Kinnard, has filed a civil lawsuit on their behalf.
According to records at the Marion County Clerk of Courts, both officers are out on a $7,500 bail each.
"As you can imagine, it's a sobering experience for them to live through a weekend as they describe to me as one of the worst weekends in their career", said John Kautzman.
On Thursday, both officers attended a virtual initial hearing with Kautzman in front of Marion County Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner.
The judge entered a preliminary not guilty plea for Schauwecker and Horlock after they waived their rights to have the grand jury indictment read during the virtual event. Judge Stoner scheduled a pretrial remote hearing and then informed the officers they would have an in-person jury trail at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 16, 2020 in his courtroom at the City County Building.
"The evidence will show, I won't try case in media, but they followed their training given the scenario that was unfolding in front of them, said Kautzman.
So far, IMPD Chief of Police Chief Randy Taylor has not recommended termination to the Merit Board for either of the officers.
Kautzman plans to argue that Schauwecker and Horlock followed their training during the arrest.