The Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis said they lost faith in Police Chief Randal Taylor after a Black motorist stopped for a traffic violation was fatally shot running away from an officer August 3, reported the Indianapolis Sar.
Six more people were shot by city police in the eight weeks that followed — and a total of 11 in the first nine months of the year. All but one of them are Black.
The repeated use of deadly force has invoked apathy for some people, who accept it as unavoidable in this era of increased gun ownership and strained relations between residents and the people sworn to protect them.
Members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, who have been shot twice this year on city streets, say they also have had enough.
“We are fed up with it. The community should be fed up with it,” Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said after the April shooting.
What’s driving the rash of police shootings this year isn’t clear. Police, politicians and community advocates have differing opinions. Experts say a reason can’t be known without scrutinizing each case.
“You would have to analyze the data to see what, if any, patterns emerge from these shootings,” said Jon Shane, professor of police policy and practice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
While debate continues about what may be driving the uptick, the fact remains Indianapolis police officers have killed people this year at a level not seen since 2016.
Chief Taylor told IndyStar in an interview he cannot recall a time in his 36-year career in law enforcement that so many police shootings have happened in such a short period.
"It's definitely concerning," he said.
Fewer police shootings in other cities
Of the 11 people Indianapolis police have shot in the first nine months of the year, six have died. In 2022, police shot four people, one fatally. Officers in six additional incidents fired their guns but did not strike anyone.
“It's a very rare occurrence," Stephanie Whitehead, a criminal justice professor at Indiana University East, said about the frequency of shootings since August.
Not included in the total are three people who were shot by state troopers in the city. Within a week in May, Indiana State Police troopers shot two people in separate incidents. In February, a state trooper shot a man being tracked in a gun and drug investigation.
More people have been shot by Indianapolis police this year than by other agencies in cities with roughly similar population sizes.
San Francisco police, for example, have shot six people since 2022.
Indianapolis surpassed Columbus, Ohio, a slightly larger city, where police have shot 10 people so far this year. Six were shot last year, according to the police department.
Indianapolis also stands out compared to several smaller Midwestern cities.
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