May 7, 2020

Indianapolis Police Fatally Shoot Man Who May Have Streamed Encounter on Facebook Live


An Indianapolis police officer shot and killed a man who the authorities said had fired toward the officer on Wednesday evening, in an encounter that appeared to have been captured live on Facebook.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said its chief and deputy chief had both been driving home from work at about 6 p.m. when one of them noticed a man driving recklessly and tried to pull him over. The man did not stop, and the officers pursued him for about 10 minutes before being called off by supervisors.

About five minutes later, another officer ran after the man after he saw him park the car behind a building housing a locksmith and flee on foot. After a short chase, the officer shot and killed him.

Chris Bailey, an assistant chief of police, told reporters at the scene that the driver had fired first at the officer. Mr. Bailey said that the officer and the driver were the only ones at the scene during the encounter and that a gun was found near the driver.

Later, a statement from the police said there had been an “exchange of gunfire” but did not mention who fired first or whether a gun was recovered. The officer, who was not injured, had also used his stun gun, the police said.

The officer and the driver were both black, Mr. Bailey said. Neither man was immediately identified by the authorities.

By nightfall, more than 100 people had gathered near the scene in northwest Indianapolis, some of whom chanted “No justice, no peace,” according to The Indianapolis Star.

A Facebook video that was widely circulated Wednesday evening shows a man recording himself as he drives away from a police cruiser, speaking into the phone camera about how he does not want to go to jail.

As he parks the car and flees, he repeatedly asks someone to “Please come get me” and says he is at the intersection of 62nd Street and Michigan Road. The police later said that the driver who was killed had left his car there.

The police said they had chased the driver after seeing him nearly strike several cars while exiting the interstate. During the chase, the driver operated at speeds nearing 90 m.p.h., the police said.

In the video, the man runs for about 25 seconds before someone shouts at him, at which point he shouts back and appears to fall. For a split-second, what appears to be a police officer can be seen behind him. Moments later, 12 loud bangs can be heard, followed by two more after a brief pause.

After the shooting, a man can be heard saying “police-active shooting” before repeatedly saying “Oh my God” and using expletives.

One morbid comment uttered off-camera has drawn wide criticism online. After the shooting, as the dropped phone continued to record the sky above the scene, someone can be heard saying, “Think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” followed by laughter. It is not clear who made the comment, and police officials did not immediately respond to an inquiry about it.

Mr. Bailey, the assistant chief, said the department was aware of the video and had sought to preserve it as evidence. The officer who shot and killed the driver will be placed on administrative leave as the department investigates.



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