'Huge' IMPD investigation underway

Dateline: Wed 27 Aug 2008

Three top-ranking Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers are reportedly part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged wrong-doing that is also tied to a probe of City-County Councilman Paul Bateman, a Democrat representing the Northeastside.

An anonymous source says the buzz is all over IMPD today. Bateman supposedly got caught up in a deal with the Russell Foundation, designed to spur economic development. But the foundation may be nothing more than a federally-funded program that is providing lucrative goods and services to those involved -- as in Escalades and other perks.

Reportedly three the three officers who have been questioned as part of the grand jury investigation are Major Darryl Pierce, Capt. Pat Holman and Deputy chief Bill Benjamin.

By the time the grand jury is finished, as many as 30 people may be indicted from agencies all over Indianapolis.

Channel 13 WTHR reporter Steve Jefferson reported Sunday on the scope of the probe.

"The new investigation involves a federal grand jury investigation into the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department underway right now. Sources close to the investigation won't say exactly what kind of officer conduct they are looking into, but that same source characterized the grand jury investigation as huge. There is no word on how many or which officers are the target of the investigation," Jefferson said.

The latest scandal also has racial undertones. Bateman, Holman, Pierce and Benjamin are all African-Americans. The racial aspect is one reason Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi did not want to touch the investigation himself, says an insider. The investigation is being conducted by feds.

IMPD has been scandal-plagued lately. Jefferson and other media have reported on the rape charges filed recently against Metro Police Officer Anthony Shaun Smith. Other allegations involve officers who trafficked in drugs and gang-related activity.

Bateman has denied any wrong-doing in the past.

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