Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Jones, Yvonne

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Kinchen, Shirletta

Committee Member

Kinchen, Shirletta

Committee Member

Rollins Jr., Aaron

Author's Keywords

Police; Race; Indianapolis; Violance; Voting; Politics


This study explores a series of events that occurred in the spring of 1876. The relationship between the Indianapolis city government, the Marion County Courts, the Indianapolis Police Department, and the African American community came together to usher in changes never before envisioned. The Indianapolis Police Department (IPD) was formed in 1855, then disbanded 12 months later in a political dispute. From 1857-to-1876, the IPD was all white. These changes took place as the Reconstruction era was coming to a close. The first Ku Klux Klan was at its apex, terrorizing black communities, and Jim Crow was coming into its own. There have been at least two dissertations written on the Indianapolis Police Department and several books explore the rise of the Indiana KKK and its interactions with the IPD.