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Marion County prosecutor announces charges against IMPD officers for force used during May protests

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears will hold a press conference to announce an update involving a police use of force incident.

INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce an update involving a police use of force incident that occurred on May 31.

Two women, Ivore Westfield and Rachel Harding, were heading home from a protest in downtown Indianapolis on May 31. They have since filed a lawsuit against four officers involved in their controversial arrest that evening. 

Video shows an officer pushing one of the women to the ground during the encounter. 

Earlier this month, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor released the names of the four officers involved in the incident. 

They include Sgt. David Kinsey, a 20-year veteran, Ofc. Conrad Simpson, an 18-year veteran of IMPD, Ofc. Johnathan Horlock, a five-year veteran and Ofc. Nathanial Schauwecker, an eight-year veteran.

The lawsuit claims Sgt. David Kinsey was the officer who became aggressive with Westfield, putting his entire body on hers and moving her arms into an unnatural, painful position. Then, the lawsuit alleges the sergeant instructed Kinsey to "hit her." At that time, one officer launched pepper ball rounds at Westfield, and two others began hitting her with their batons — striking her at least six times. She fell to the ground and one officer held her head and neck with a baton and put her in handcuffs, the lawsuit says.

Prosecutor Mears announced the charges for two of the officers involved, Officer Horlock and Officer Schauwecker, Wednesday. 

Horlock has been indicted on charges of Battery (Level 5 Felony), Battery Resulting in Moderate Injury (Level 6 Felony), Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury (Class A Misdemeanor), Perjury (Level 6 Felony), Obstruction of Justice (Level 6 Felony) and Official Misconduct (Level 6 Felony).

Officer Schauwecker has been indicted on the charges of Battery (Level 5 Felony), Battery Resulting in Moderate Injury (Level 6 Felony), two counts of Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury (Class A Misdemeanor) and two counts of Official Misconduct (Level 6 Felonies).

RELATED: IMPD chief identifies officers involved in lawsuit over arrest of female protesters

The attorney for Westfield and Harding released the following statement: 

"We are very pleased with the effort, resolve and diligence shown by Ryan Mears the Prosecutor here in Marion County. He and his Staff responded to this matter with the utmost respect and regard, not only for Ms. Westfield and Ms. Harding, but also OUR community. We also thank the Grand Jury for their time, attention and diligence, especially in light of the current environment of a worldwide pandemic." 

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor released the following statement in response to the grand jury indictment of two IMPD officers:

“I hold great respect for our criminal justice system and have faith that this process will deliver a just outcome. These officers will remain on administrative duty with no police authority. While our internal investigation will continue, it is my intention to address our administrative review of the officer conduct at the conclusion of the ongoing criminal prosecution.” 

Indy FOP released this statement: 

“Our collective membership learned of the charges announced by the Marion County Prosecutor.We recognize the Grand Jury process and the role of the Prosecutor in selecting what evidence is presented to them for review.We look forward to a full, fair and public airing of all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the events in question. While officers prefer to avoid any use of force, we fully recognize the requirement to safely and swiftly effectuate the lawful arrest of individuals when called upon to do so, especially during tense and rapidly evolving events.Therefore, we welcome a robust review of these allegations and have confidence in the process.In the meantime, we appreciate the continued support of residents for our city's law enforcement officers as they continue to faithfully serve during these challenging and uncertain times.”