Monday, July 14, 2014
IMPD Officers Take "I Will Always Get Out Of My Car" Pledge
In a pointed rejoinder to the family of Major Davis, Jr., officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department have launched a campaign on social media in which they are pledging to "always get out of my car" according to Fox 59 News' Russ McQuaid. Davis is the man accused of shooting to death Officer Perry Renn during an altercation between Davis, Renn and another officer in the backyard of the Davis family home in response to a report of shots fired in the area. An interview family members gave to WISH-TV following the shooting sparked a public debate after family members told WISH-TV the shooting would have been avoided if the officer had stayed in his car.
According to a probable cause affidavit, another police officer, Nick Gallico, stopped his police car and approached Davis after a civilian female riding in his car told Gallico that she saw a man she later identified as Davis waving his hands as they passed the Davis home, believing that he was trying to flag down the officer. The tragic shootout ensued after Gallico got out of his car and approached Davis, ordering him to show his hands. Gallico was joined a short time later by Officer Renn when an exchange of gunfire between the three left Renn dead and Davis critically injured. During that controversial interview, Davis' family members told the reporter they still blame police for the death of Davis' father, who died of a heart attack while in police custody after police arrested him for public intoxication eleven years ago. Officer Renn was one of the police officers involved in Davis, Sr.'s arrest when he died.
The campaign on social media picks up on remarks IMPD Chief Rick Hite made at Officer Renn's funeral last week. “Perry did what he has done hundreds of times, Hite said." He got out of his car. And, yea, he walked through the valley of the shadow of death,” paraphrasing the Psalm of the Bible. "He feared no evil. He remembered and honored the oath he had taken in the past. "As the result of community-wide outrage over the suggestion that slain Indianapolis Metro Police Department Patrolman Perry Renn should have stayed in his car once he spotted a man armed with an AK-47 in a north side alley July 5, Metro police officers have taken to Facebook to post pledges to run toward danger when trouble arises," Fox 59 News' Russ McQuaid said.
Will the police officers' pledge reassure the public, or will it only further incite tensions already running high between IMPD and some segments of Indianapolis' population? What do you think?
UPDATE: Fox 59 News reports that Davis was released from the hospital and taken to jail on Friday after being rushed to the hospital in critical condition just 9 days ago, suffering gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen. News reports at the time said he stopped breathing at one point before being resuscitated. Less than a week seems like a very quick recovery from life-threatening injuries of that nature. His first court appearance is scheduled tomorrow.