INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday night saw the 17th time an IMPD officer shot a citizen in 2023.
It’s the most such incidents since 2015 when there were 20 officer-involved shootings and 10 fatalities. Since Aug. 1, there have been 13 officer-involved shootings, with nine of the shootings resulting in fatalities.
Each officer-involved shooting opens up multiple investigations and processes that go through different IMPD leadership, boards and community groups.
”This investigation is being led by the Critical Incident Response Team,” said IMPD Asst. Chief Chris Bailey, at the scene of the shooting Thursday night. “A parallel administrative investigation will be conducted by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept. Internal Affairs Unit.”
Once the criminal investigation finishes, the Civilian Majority Use of Force Board will review both investigations.
FOX59/CBS4 spoke with IMPD Dep. Chief Catherine Cummings about how the board operates in October.
“The board takes whatever particular use of force incident we are presenting to them,” Cummings said. “They go through the hours or day-long hearing. They hear from the people involved, they hear from the experts.”
Once the hearing is complete, the board provides its recommendation to Chief Taylor.
“The board provides their recommendation to the Chief,” Cummings said. “Whether they feel that the actions were in policy or out of policy and then the Chief takes that into consideration when he’s making his final determination.”
The board is made up of four members from IMPD and five civilian members. Two are appointed by Chief Taylor and three are appointed by the City-County Council.
In the days after the shooting, IMPD pays the company Critical Incident Videos $6,000 to create a critical incident video of the incident. IMPD passes along body camera video, 911 calls, security camera video and more resources from the scene.
FOX59/CBS4 spoke with IMPD Lt. Shane Foley about the process that goes into every critical incident video.
”We do that because we find it’s important that we have that third-party vendor that’s producing the video and doing it independently from the work that were doing,” Foley said.
Once IMPD gets the video back, it’s watched by leadership that does have the ability to make changes if they feel there are inaccuracies.
Before the video is released, it’s shown to the officer or officers involved and the person shot or family of the person shot. The video is also watched by a community group. Foley said it is made up of more than 50 members of the community, some from each IMPD district.
“They let us know what type of content they want to see, if it meets their expectations for what they want shared and it helps them process and gain a better understanding of what’s taking place during these incidents,” Foley said.
Of the 17 officer-involved shootings, nine videos have been released, two have been court-ordered to not be released and another is an ISP investigation. IMPD will not release that video until ISP concludes its investigation.
That leaves five videos that have not been released yet, including the most recent.
According to IMPD data, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has only made charging decisions for officers involved in two of the shootings. Charges in the 15 other incidents are still pending.