IMPD bodycam videos show deadly exchange of gunfire during traffic stop

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The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has released edited bodycam footage detailing an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead following a traffic stop on Indy’s near east side in January.

According to a graphic that appears at the beginning of the video, officers responded to the 2600 block of Brookside Parkway North Drive around 5:26 p.m. on Jan. 25 as part of an investigation to apprehend a convicted murderer.

According to previous reports, officers with IMPD’s East District Violence Team tried to stop a vehicle to apprehend 48-year-old Raphael Nafees Dekemper, who was wanted on several active felony warrants. Dekemper’s warrants included possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm and invasion of privacy.

IMPD detectives began investigating Dekemper after he allegedly fired several shots at individuals at a residence near East 16th Street and North Arlington Avenue earlier that same month. Dekemper had previously been convicted of murder back in 1997, IMPD said at the time.

Officers reportedly watched the suspect enter the passenger seat of a 2006 Pontiac Vibe near the 2500 block of East 16th Street before proceeding to conduct a traffic stop. A female was driving the vehicle.

An officer’s body-worn camera that was activated during the incident shows officers issuing multiple verbal commands from the cover of their fully marked patrol cars and instructing the woman to turn off the vehicle and for Dekemper to place his hands outside the window before slowly exiting the vehicle.

IMPD shared an image of one of the officers’ patrol cars that was struck after Dekemper opened fire.

Police were conducting a “high-risk stop,” which involves officers maintaining a safe distance from the suspect while delivering instructions and using their marked patrol vehicles as barriers. These tactics are usually used when police have a strong reason to believe the suspect they are apprehending has a history of violence.

In segments of the bodycam footage released by police, Dekemper could be seen exiting the vehicle and appearing to point his firearm and firing at police. Gunfire then rang out between the suspect and officers. Dekemper was struck multiple times after three officers returned fire.

Dekemper was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition before dying a short time later.

IMPD released an additional statement later that night detailing how officers recovered Dekemper’s handgun, which was reportedly used to fire at police during the exchange. IMPD confirmed that no officers were injured during the incident.

The female was also left uninjured after she followed the officers’ instructions and was brought into custody without further incident.

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