INDIANAPOLIS – A jury awarded $1.2 million to the estate of a man who was shot and killed by two Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers in 2018.
The jury found the officers, Jonathan Horlock and Ian Peterson, used unreasonable force during the incident. Daniel Cedars, 65, died in the Nov. 19, 2018, shooting. The judgment awarded Cedars’ estate $600,000 against each officer.
Cedars formerly worked in security for Washington Township Schools and was a retired police officer.
The officers were dispatched to an “alleged incomplete 911 call” near Cedars’ residence at 12:53 a.m. Peterson and Horlock arrived at 1:32 a.m. Minutes later, the officers radioed that a police action shooting had taken place.
They fired shots into the home, located in the 6200 block of Monteo Drive on the south side of Indianapolis. The officers maintain that Cedars fired at them first.
The complaint alleged that the officers were “outside the residence, shooting indiscriminately from a distance and position of safety with the ability to retreat.”
The complaint said the officers arrived with their lights off and didn’t announce their presence. Minutes after the shooting, several 911 calls were placed to dispatchers to report shots had been fired in the area.
The officers’ “use of deadly force was intentional and objectively unreasonable” and violated Cedars’ constitutional rights, the complaint said.
Jurors agreed with the assessment, ruling in favor of Cedars’ estate.
Peterson and Horlock are still employed by IMPD, although Horlock is on administrative duty pending an investigation into a viral 2020 arrest downtown. Neither faced criminal charges in connection with the November 2018 shooting.
IMPD sent the following statement arguing the officers followed departmental policy and were not negligent:
IMPD is aware of the jury’s verdict regarding the officer-involved shooting which occurred on Monteo Drive in 2018. While the incident was unfortunate, IMPD contends the officers’ actions were lawful, compliant with department policies, and were not negligent. While IMPD respects the jury process, it is disappointed with this verdict. IMPD and its legal counsel are reviewing possible legal next steps.