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Indianapolis police chief, Marion County prosecutor to discuss at IUPUI events surrounding deaths of black men in Ferguson and Staten Island


INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Richard Hite, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and other local officials will participate in a panel discussion at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis about events surrounding the deaths of two black men last year in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, New York.

 With thoughts and emotions in IUPUI students still stirred by those events, the Office for Intergroup Dialogue and Civil Community and the Office of Student Involvement at IUPUI arranged the discussion to address the question: Could Indianapolis be next?

 The panel discussion will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Campus Center Theatre, 420 University Blvd., said Alice Hoenigman Jones, a learning and program development consultant in the Office for Intergroup Dialogue and Civil Community. The event, planned in collaboration with Martin University, is free and open to the public.

 Indianapolis City-Council President Maggie Lewis and Indianapolis deputy mayor and Republican mayoral candidate Olgen Williams also will participate in the discussion. An African American clergy member and an individual whose family suffered gun violence have been invited to participate. Those attending the discussion will have the opportunity to ask questions.

 In Ferguson, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. The shooting prompted protests that roiled the area for weeks. In November, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to indict the officer. The announcement set off another wave of protests.

In Staten Island, on July 17, Eric Garner died after a police officer put him in a chokehold. In December, a Staten Island grand jury dismissed all potential charges against the police officer.

 The panel discussion follows a town hall and a march that were held last fall at IUPUI that demonstrated widespread interest in the issues surrounding the deaths in Ferguson and New York.

 For more information about the event, contact Jones at