Critical Reading for All Motorcyclists
Regarding the IMPD Crash that Killed Eric Wells
Let me first ask that you read this in its entirety before forming any sort of opinion.
The crash that killed Eric Wells and seriously injured Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills is a tragic situation. The subsequent botched investigation can only be described as unbelievable. ABATE of Indiana stands with all motorcyclists, and all citizens, and shares in the disbelief, disappointment and disgust in how the case has been handled thus far.
Within an hour after the crash, ABATE of Indiana was already in contact with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) to find out how this could have happened and what was going to be done. The results of the blood test and filing of 7 felony charges initially gave the appearance that justice would be served.
There were questions about the timing of the test, who was present, under what pretense the consent was given and other attempts to have the evidence of impairment minimized. The method, personnel and location of the blood draw led to dropping the most serious charges.
Please be assured that ABATE has been aggressively working on this situation since immediately following the crash and have had continual contact with agencies and individuals covering all aspects of this issue. There have been literally hundreds of communications (meetings, phone calls, e-mails, etc...).
This tragic event is absolutely charged with emotion. However, if we truly wish to win the war, rather than just a battle, we must not simply react with emotion, but instead employ a strategy that is proactive. While we certainly understand and support those who feel the need to protest the problem, ABATE of Indiana is concentrating on promoting a solution to see that this sort of tragedy never happens again. We will address this in the Statehouse with the Indiana General Assembly and have already begun speaking with legislators.
Of course we're concerned. Of course we're angry. We're mad as hell. This has been wrong since the beginning and has only gotten worse. I don't actually believe that there was a deliberate effort to do things incorrectly to allow for a loophole to avoid charges, or that the City of Indianapolis is attempting a cover up, but it sure does look bad. Neither incompetence nor favoritism instill confidence.
Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski are both riders and are outraged personally, as well as professionally. IMPD has more than 1,700 officers (according to WRTV). Most are among the finest public servants anywhere and many are motorcyclists. When we say what happened is wrong, they are nodding their heads with us. Just like we -- as motorcyclists -- don't want to be stereotyped, let's not paint all law enforcement with the same brush.
We cannot allow anyone, or anything, to fragment the motorcycling community. If that happens, we have lost. Bikers all agree that what happened is wrong. How to address it is not unanimous. Those that wish to voice their disgust have a right to do so and may give some public exposure to the issue as they vent. Unfortunately, unless there is a solution attached, it will have little impact. We can yell and scream and stomp our feet and say that we're pissed off all we want, but they already know that. IMPD knows it. The Chief of Police knows it. The Mayor knows it. The citizens of Indianapolis know it and in fact, not only the state, but the nation, knows it.
Don't let this terrible situation add insult to injury by further tearing apart our "family". We can't change what has happened, but we can affect the future. Let's stick together and do what we do best to fix this injustice by addressing it legislatively and insuring that something like this never happens again. We owe that to Eric Wells, Kurt Weekly, Mary Mills and all motorcyclists.
Ride Safe, Ride Free,
ABATE of Indiana