IMPD explains why two officers involved in deadly police shooting were not wearing body-worn cameras

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INDIANAPOLIS – New details have been released about a deadly officer-involved shooting on Indy’s east side.

The shooting took place at a Marathon gas station in the 5400 block of East 21st Street.

Detectives with IMPD’s Violent Crime Unit claim 33-year-old James Williams pointed a gun at the officers and they shot and killed Williams in response.

The handgun Williams had in his possession was located at the scene and recovered.

Police released picture of the handgun recovered at the scene

Police describe Williams as a suspect in a recent homicide, who was wanted on a felony warrant from the Department of Corrections.

Police claim surveillance cameras inside the gas station show exactly what led up to the deadly shooting, but the two officers who fired the shots were not equipped with body-worn cameras.

Some community leaders say that fact raises some questions.

“How many officers don’t have body cameras and what was the logic behind who got what and when?” said David Greene with the Concerned Clergy.

IMPD launched its body-worn camera program in August 2020 and patrol officers were given first priority.

“As we’ve deployed cameras, we made it a priority that people that interacted with the public the most got the cameras, which is why they went to uniformed officers,” said IMPD Lt. Scott Kulig.

Lt. Kulig oversees the body-worn camera program for IMPD.

He says out of the nearly 1,700 officers on the department, 1,370 body-worn cameras have been deployed and the department hopes to purchase another 270. The funding for those cameras, which would outfit the remainder of the force, has been submitted to the city-county council.

“The ultimate goal is to make sure that every officer that works for IMPD has a body-worn camera available to them,” said Kulig.

“If you’re interacting with the public in some way, you definitely need to have a body camera,” said Greene.

David Greene with the Concerned Clergy believes body-worn cameras remain important for police to build trust in the community and any officer whose job it is to confront possibly violent offenders needs to be equipped.

“It just feeds the trust issue, and we want to fix that if we’re going to have a better safer community,” said Greene.

Violent Crime Unit officers will be equipped with body-worn cameras in two weeks. The plan is to take cameras that were earmarked for the next recruit class and give them to VCU officers.

No officers were hurt in Wednesday’s shooting. The officers involved were placed on routine leave while the case is under investigation.

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