Bodycam video shows man being fatally shot down from a tree by an IMPD officer
The Indianapolis Police Department released edited video onto their YouTube channel Friday that shows the tense exchange between officers and a 35-year-old man who eventually died after being shot by an officer in October.
The incident happened around 4:15 a.m. on Oct. 24 in the 2500 block of Columbia Avenue, near East 25th Street and Dr. Andrew J. Brown Avenue. Officers in the area that morning first heard shots fired in the area of East 25th Street and Park Avenue and saw a car speeding, according to an IMPD spokesperson.
The driver was later identified as Darcel Edwards, 35. The IMPD video includes the body camera from one unidentified officer, showing Edwards exiting his vehicle with his hands up and making a comment about another vehicle hitting his car.
Officers can be heard advising Edwards not to get back in his car, telling him to remain where he is while they wait for other officers.
Edwards can then be seen getting in his car as the unidentified officer shouts, "Don't get back in the car!" IMPD then follows Edwards as he heads eastbound on East 25th Street.
Edwards' vehicle then crashed near East 25th Street and Columbia Avenue, according to IMPD.
As more officers responded to that area, Edwards could be seen coming out from the driveway of a nearby home and running into another backyard. An officer yells for him to stop and get his hands out of his pocket as Edwards ran. "Police! Show me your hands!" officers can be heard yelling in the bodycam video.
IMPD said Edwards was hiding in a tree as other officers arrived on scene. One responding officer was able to find Edwards in a tree using a flashlight.
The video then cuts to bodycam video from IMPD Officer Gunnar Gossett, which depicts Edwards telling police from his vantage point in the tree that he has epilepsy and cannot get down. Edwards can also be heard requesting that officers call his mother and doctor before coming down from the tree. Gossett can also be heard instructing another officer to get behind cover.
Edwards can then be heard denying the officer's request to come down from the tree. This exchange continues multiple times over the course of more than a minute.
"You got up there, get yourself down," one officer can be heard telling Edwards in the footage.
Responding officers can be heard assuring Edwards a medic would be on hand when he comes down from the tree.
"I'm coming down, but I feel like I'm going through a seize, man," Edwards can be heard saying in the bodycam video.
"Well, you might not want to do it up there," an officer responds to one of Edwards' multiple requests for help.
The exchange continues like that, with Edwards saying he will wait until the medic comes before coming down and IMPD officers saying he should come down.
Edwards then seemingly expresses confusion about the kind of weapon being pointed in his direction, telling officers to hit him with the taser. Gossett confirmed to Edwards he was holding a pistol, at which point Edwards responded, "Whatever it is."
Gossett can be heard telling Edwards he would need to have a reason to shoot him, so don't give him one. Officers also expressed disbelief in Edwards' claim that he was unarmed and was not threatening them.
As Edwards once again claims he does not have anything on him, multiple officers can be heard yelling, "No, stop!" Edwards was further instructed to not reach in his pocket.
"If you reach for something again, you will be shot," Gossett can be heard saying.
At that point, Edwards asks officers to end his life. Multiple officers shout they will not, in response.
Officers once again scream for Edwards to not reach before two shots can be heard. Police are then seen running toward where Edwards can be seen lying, apparently unresponsive. Officers can be seen giving medical aid to Edwards.
Edwards was transported to Methodist Hospital in critical condition and died two days later.
IMPD said they did find a gun holster in Edwards' waistband, but did not locate a firearm in the area after an "exhaustive" search.
The incident is being investigated by IMPD's Critical Incident Response Team, according to IMPD. It will also be reviewed by the Use of Force Board and Marion County Prosecutor's Office.