INDIANAPOLIS — Just days after IMPD released edited body camera video of a deadly officer-involved shooting, the community got the chance to voice their concerns tonight at a pair of town halls.
People got to hear directly from the police and ask questions about trust, accountability, and changes they would like to see.
As we've reported, 49-year-old Gary Dwayne Harrell was shot and killed on August 3rd during a traffic stop on the Northeast side. He was running from an officer while holding a gun when he was shot.
"There's no need for him to be in the ground. They could have let him go and come back later, they knew who he was," said a woman who was visibly upset at the town hall.
It is a difficult topic, still hard for many to put into words.
"That's got to stop. There's no justification for shooting a person anyone in the back or shooting into the car. That was one of the policies that you said was going to be initiated," said a man speaking at the community town hall.
Monday evening, dozens filled the Global Welcome Center on the Northwest side for a community town hall.
"I do want to be respectful of the criminal process as it moves forward," said Deputy Chief Kendale Adams with IMPD.
The Northwest Community Resource District Council hosted the town hall to create a space where IMPD and the community could come together and have a healthy conversation about policies and procedures.
"Our charge tonight is just to provide you basic understanding of what exists, what the processes look like, how they work not a good and bad, but this is what exists, and then when you understand as a community what does exist then you can be very pinpointed strategic on what things need to be enhanced and changed," said a representative with the Northwest Community Resource District Council.
"Y'all keep saying we need to trust the process. Look at the process. Here's our process and I'm not really sure what you haven't given us a reason why we should trust the process," said a many asking questions at the town hall.
"And that's the reason for this forum you know we don't pretend to know everything. It's important to get the community's input in these types of situations because they are very tragic," said Commander Lorenzo Lewis with IMPD Northwest District.
"You know it's sad that this is the only time we have town halls," said Pastor Wayne Moore,
Moore said the lack of trust and transparency went away a long time ago— Rebuilding that will be a task.
"They've done a great job been talking about procedures, but there are no results to any of the procedures. They've done a great job talking about all the boards that they've created, but there are no results to those boards. And so, the City of Indianapolis is tied down with law enforcement bureaucracy to protect their insufficient way of policing and administration right at this particular point," said Moore.
Another town hall took place on the east side. Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears attended. We asked him why he thinks these types of meetings are necessary.
“The best way to address that lack of trust is to have very direct conversations about what's going on. Try to be as transparent as possible but also be willing to acknowledge the criminal justice system hasn't always got it right and the criminal justice system isn't perfect and it's important for people to recognize that we're going to try to work on those areas and improve in the area on those concerns that people have so that people will hopefully see that the criminal justice system can be a fair place in a place where you can resolve disputes.”
The community resource district council hosts meetings every last Monday of the month at 6 p.m. via Zoom.