Indianapolis community organizers bait law enforcement officer with fake fight

If there are tensions between urban police departments and the African-American community, this kind of stuff won’t help one bit. An Indianapolis police officer was invited to give a presentation at a youth symposium where organizers staged a fight to see how the [white] officer would react.

News 6 in Indianapolis is reporting the story, with my emphasis added.

During the presentation, an altercation broke out in the crowd, and [Sgt. Matthew] Grimes intervened. The officer was thrown to the ground and drew his Taser, ready to stun one of the people involved, police said.

At that point, someone stepped in and told the officer that the incident had been concocted to test the reaction of the officer to the situation, police said. Grimes suffered severe back spasms after the incident and was taken to Methodist Hospital for treatment.

James Harrington, pastor of the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church, said he set up the scenario to test a white officer’s reaction to a fight between two black men.


One of the players – Ennis Adams Jr. – stated it was a performance, not something to ‘bait’ an officer, but Pastor James Harrington said “the scenario was an effort to test the officer’s response to an argument involving two black men”. That’s baiting the officer. The fake argument escalated to a physical one, which seems to have resulted in a back injury to the police officer.

Harrington even claims he used professional actors who were trained. Of course, Grimes was not an actor. I’m wondering what the background of Adams is – is he a professional trained actor?

Indianapolis certainly is going through a rough spot when it comes to police/resident relations. I have not had the time to read all of the stories concerning the alleged beating of a 15 year old by police during an arrest in May, but it looks like the kid was interfering with the arrest of his older brother. Whether or not excessive force was used, the following comments really caught my eye.

Anybody else notice what I’ve noticed?

Several members of the clergy also joined in Monday’s protest, calling for officers involved in the incident to be charged.

“We want the prosecutor to charge them with criminal behavior and let them prove themselves to be innocent. That’s fair,” said The Rev. T. Garrott Benjamin with Light of the World Church. “It’s not for us to be the judge on the street. It’s for them to go to court, and if they are innocent, prove it.”

Update: Just thinking this morning … where’s the video? There has gotta be video…

4 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Well, that's just disturbing.  Race baiting by a pastor is despicable.  The fact that the officer was injured is horrible.  If race relations in Indianapolis are really that bad, why would this scenario have to be staged?  I'm really getting tired of everything coming down to race.

    The shooting here in Manchester yesterday is now being touted as motivated by racial harassment.  It's not going to be about Omar's disciplinary hearing for stealing (a hearing he came to carrying a rifle), it's going to be about race.  His family and ex-girlfriend immediately started playing the race card.

    I've said it at least once, but it bears repeating:  the issue of race was not even close to this incendiary until Obama ran for, and was elected to, the Presidency.  When a police officer is "invited" to a youth symposium and then baited into using his training because two black actors stage a physical altercation, I'm not sure if my blood boils or runs cold.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      You can't have racial healing if you keep picking at the scab.  Or pouring salt into the wound.

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    You can bet the police aren't going to be in any kind of a rush to go to this church if a real incident occurs.


    I think the boy who cried "racist" is far worse than the boy who cried "wolf", although the results will be similar.  (and for you racism fans, the story is called "The boy who cried wolf" in Aesop's fables)

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    “We want the prosecutor to charge them with criminal behavior and let them prove themselves to be innocent. That’s fair,”….



    Guilty until proven innocent?  So much for due process and the presumption of innocence.  The good Rev should know that this can work both ways.



    Here is your video link:

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