INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department works with a third-party agency that produces the videos and script for each officer-involved shooting video, and then has several different groups watch them before they are put out to the public.
So far in 2023, there have been 15 officer-involved shootings. For each of those incidents, IMPD has paid California-based company “Critical Incident Videos” $6,000 to create a critical incident video.
”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,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.
The website for “Critical Incident Videos” said the company makes these videos for multiple departments across the country. FOX59/CBS4 called the number listed on the website to find out more about the business, but have not heard back yet.
Foley said IMPD has been working with “Critical Incident Videos” for more than two years.
”They know what type of information should be shared with the community and the public and how to tell that story,” Foley said.
IMPD provides the company with all of the video materials – including body cam, 911 calls and other surveillance cameras. It’s then up to the digression of “Critical Incident Videos” to decide which materials to use and what goes into the video.
”We give it to them and then they put it together and then they send it back to us and we look through it for accuracy,” Foley said. “We want to make sure it meets the expectations of the community group that they have provided.”
Even though “Critical Incident Videos” does make the video, Foley said IMPD can still make final suggestions and an IMPD officer is the one who reads the script.
”Those changes are made because we want to provide as much information as possible and also respect members of our community and the judicial system,” Foley said.
Once IMPD gets the video back from the company they’re shown to the officers involved and the person who was shot or the family members of the person who was shot
”They can provide feedback and if there is something that is inaccurate or materially inconsistent with what occurred those things would be taken into consideration for changes but as a general rule their role is just for awareness so they know what’s coming,” Foley said.
A community group made up of people from each IMPD district will also watch the video.
“They do a couple things for us,” Foley said. “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 better understanding of what’s taking place during these incidents.”
As the year has gone on and the officer-involved shooting incidents have stacked up, the videos have taken longer to be released.
The four videos about incidents that took place before August took an average of about 32 days to release. Since August, there have been 11 officer-involved shootings and four videos have been released in an average of 42 days each.
Two of those videos are being held up for different reasons. A video from Sept. 1 on W Raymond St. is not being released because of a court order. A video from Sept. 26 on N Keystone Ave. is not being released because it is an Indiana State Police investigation.
There are five incidents on Oct. 14, Oct. 19, Oct. 24, Oct. 26 and Nov. 10 that IMPD has not released yet. Foley said the amount of incidents and videos IMPD is dealing with right now is what slows the process.
”As we have more of them involved it takes more coordination whether that be coordination with our staff meeting with family members, whether that be our staff meeting with the community group,” said Foley.
Foley said IMPD opts to do the critical incident edited videos over just releasing the entirety of the body camera unedited because of what it adds to the information the public gets.
”These videos are important in that they provide more information than what’s in the actual video, they tell the viewer what led up to this incident, they tell the viewer information about the caller, they provide information about what are the next steps in this. All of which wouldn’t be available if it were just the video provided,” Foley said.
As for when the unreleased videos will be shown to the public, IMPD does not give a timeline on individual videos.