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IPFS News Link • Police Accountability Report

"We Have Been a Paramilitary Organization..."

•, By William Norman Grig

"We have historically been a paramilitary organization," observed Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite during a September 17 City Council meeting. "And we serve whoever sits in that chair, regardless of race, gender, creed, or political party. I don't know what we would do if we had to go to battle, and we had to make a determination, based on past practices, whether or not we wanted to go into battle. … I am a soldier in an army. We serve you in that way…. We should not be in a position where we're going to have to decide how we're going to police this city."

Hite spoke those words in a largely empty chamber, to an audience drawn entirely from Indianapolis's political class. True, the budget meeting was open to the public, which could attend in person, monitor a live broadcast online, or watch an archived video of the proceedings later. But few, if any, city residents were likely to endure the two-and-a-half-hour-long barrage of bureaucratese thatprovided the prelude to Hite's candid invocation of fuhrerprinzip – modified, in this case, to express unqualified loyalty to an oligarchy, rather than a single "leader."