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IMPD releases bodycam footage of August shooting, killing 49-year-old Gary Harrell

harrell video.PNG
Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-23 09:57:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS — IMPD has released a summary video of the officer-involved shooting earlier this month where an IMPD officer fatally shot a man following a traffic stop on the city's northeast side.

49-year-old Gary Dwayne Harrell died after being shot by IMPD Officer Douglas Correll, a 28-year-veteran of IMPD.

According to police, Harrell was stopped for reckless driving in the 3400 block of Parker Avenue at 9:40 a.m. on August 3.

READ MORE | Black Church Coalition calls for IMPD transparency following fatal shooting

Now, with the release of the bodycam video, IMPD is giving the public view of some of the events that took place.

In the video, Officer Correll is first seen inside his vehicle as he pulls over and gets out yelling "What are you doing?" Harrell then comes into view and is seen standing outside of his vehicle.

Officer Correll asks Harrell if he has his driver's license to which Harrell replies he "just got out of prison man." He then sits back in the driver's seat of his vehicle and Correll tells him "No, come out here and talk with me."

Harrell's phone rings, he mentions his mother calling and answers it.

You can hear the voice of a dispatcher stating "34th and Parker" through the officer's radio. At this time, Harrell grabs a firearm from a compartment in his car and begins to run away from the officer and his vehicle.

"Stop it, drop it," Correll yells before he fires at Harrell and strikes him two times in the back. Harrell immediately falls to the ground, in the driveway of a residence, and drops his gun.

Officer Correll then calls in an officer involved shooting on his radio. In the video, IMPD says he recovered Harrell's firearm, a five-shot .357 revolver loaded with five rounds.

The remainder of the bodycam video shows the officers providing medical aid to Harrell, before he was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

You can watch the full video from IMPD below.

WARNING: The video below contains graphic images and language. Viewer discretion is advised.

Attorney Stephen Wagner of Wagner Reese, LLP, issued a statment on behalf of the family following the release of IMPD's video calling it "heavily edited".

"Although Gary made a poor choice that morning, it should not have cost him his life," the statement read in part.

You can read their full statement below.

Gary Harrell made a poor choice on August 3, 2023 shortly after he was pulled over by IMPD Officer Douglas Correll on suspicion of reckless driving, a misdemeanor. He grabbed his cell phone and handgun and ‘attempted’ to run away from Officer Correll. Gary suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident years before, and he was not capable of moving very quickly. So, as seen in the video, he was stumbling away from Officer Correll, as opposed to sprinting. Although Gary made a poor choice that morning, it should not have cost him his life. What is undisputed from the video is that Gary had his back to Correll as he moved away from him. Gary never assaulted, or even touched, Correll. Officer Correll gave one command—‘Stop! Drop it!’—but failed to give Gary any time to comply before gunning him down. This unjustified shooting violated the U.S. Constitution and IMPD’s Use of Force policy revised in 2020. According to that policy, officers are not permitted to use deadly force unless the officer reasonably believes such force is necessary (1) to prevent or defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person, or (2) to apprehend a fleeing person for any felony that threatened or resulted in the death or serious bodily injury, if the officer reasonably believes that the person will cause death or serious bodily injury to another unless immediately apprehended. Neither circumstance was present on August 3rd. There was no one else around but Gary and Officer Correll. Gary’s back was turned to Officer Correll, and Gary was moving away from Correll. Gary never pointed a gun at Correll. Under these circumstances, Officer Correll had no greater right to use deadly force in his own self-defense than any other citizen. If two armed citizens are involved in a verbal confrontation, and then one turns and begins running away from the other, the first citizen cannot not shoot the other in the back. If that happened, the shooter would be charged with murder.

This is not the first time that Officer Correll has been accused of using excessive force against a Black man. In 2020 the City of Indianapolis paid $380,000 to settle the claim of a man who alleged that Correll falsely arrested and battered him, The man was actually the victim of a shooting who called 911 for help. Correll responded, ignored the man’s attempt to explain the situation. Instead, Correll punched him in the face and then kneed the man in his abdomen, resulting in a ruptured spleen. (See Harris v. Douglas Correll, Case 1:18-cv-01889-SEB-DLP). The Harrell family questions why this officer was still employed by IMPD.

Gary’s mother, four sisters, and six adult children are still in shock. They call upon IMPD and the Marion County Prosecutor to fully and fairly investigate the shooting, including carefully considering criminal charges against Correll.

IMPD released the following statement from Chief Randal Taylor Tuesday afternoon.

Today the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released the critical incident video involving the shooting death of Gary Harrell. This release comes as a part of my commitment to transparency, and with the recognition of the tragic loss of Mr. Harrell and the lives impacted by this incident, including officers. 

It is crucial to have a thorough and complete investigation of what occurred during this incident before we come to any conclusions. At this point, this investigation is incomplete. I am asking for the public’s patience and trust as we investigate this thoroughly. My prayers remain with all involved.