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Society

Indianapolis Officer Fatally Shoots Man, Prompting Protests

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis police officer's fatal shooting of a black man following a pursuit was apparently captured in part on Facebook Live video, prompting dozens of angry people to converge on the shooting scene.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said the pursuit began after officers observed someone driving recklessly on Interstate 65 on Wednesday evening. After supervisors ordered an end to that pursuit because the vehicle was moving close to 90 mph (145 kph), it was later spotted by an officer on a city street before being parked.

The officer left his vehicle, prompting the man to run, Bailey said. The man was shot about 6 p.m. Wednesday as he and the officer exchanged gunfire, police said. The shooting involved only the man and the officer, both of whom are black, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Investigators said they found a gun near the man, who police have not yet identified. The officer who fatally shot the man has also not been identified by police, and he has been placed on administrative leave. 

Following the shooting, several community activists and neighborhood organizers converged at the shooting scene to express outrage over a Facebook Live recording circulating on social media that captured part of the pursuit. More than 100 people gathered, with many chanting, "No justice, no peace."

The video shows a young, shirtless man as he was driving, with a police car apparently following him.

A short time later, the man is laughing and cheering as he thinks he lost the trailing officer. "I'm not going to jail today!" he shouts.

But moments later, the man appears unsure where he has driven and says in the recording, "Please come get me. Please come get me!"

The man then appears to park his car and leave it, followed by inaudible shouting and popping sounds, at which point the man appears to drop his phone or collapse. More popping sounds are heard.

Another version of the video captures a conversation after the shooting in which a male voice says, "I think it's going to be a closed casket, homie." It's an apparent reference to a closed casket funeral.

Bailey said investigators were aware of videos posted to Facebook and were preserving them but were not prepared to confirm their authenticity. 

About eight hours after that shooting, Indianapolis police fatally shot another man while investigating a burglary in-progress at an apartment complex. 

Police said a man armed with a rifle shot at four responding officers as they approached the apartment early Thursday. Officers returned fire, killing him, police said.

Also Wednesday, an Indianapolis police officer struck and killed a pregnant woman who was walking on an expressway ramp. Police said Officer Jonathon Henderson, a 22-year veteran, struck the woman while on his way to work. Police said Henderson requested help and rendered first aid to the woman, whose name hasn't been released. She was pronounced dead at a hospital. Her fetus also did not survive.

The Greater Indianapolis NAACP said in a statement Thursday that it was monitoring information about both fatal police shootings, including the videos, and urged anyone with information to provide that to investigators.

"Our hearts this morning are with the families who lost loved ones during these tragic events. All of us are trying to make a new normal in an un-normal time. Incidents like these do not help restore normalcy to our community," said Chrystal Ratcliffe, the president of the NAACP branch.

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