Sharpton blasts handling of Indianapolis beating

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton says he plans to open an office of his National Action Network in Indianapolis in response to the beating of a biracial teenager by police officers.

Sharpton told a crowd of several hundred people at Eastern Star Church Wednesday night that the city merit board failed to do the right thing when it voted to allow an officer accused of using excessive force to stay on the police force.

The merit board voted 6-1 to clear Officer Jerry Piland of wrongdoing. Piland said he believed he was justified in using several blows to the head of Brandon Johnson in helping other officers arrest the unruly 15-year-old in May.

Sharpton said Indianapolis had a "disturbing pattern" that deserved national attention.


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