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.


Anonymous said...

I guess I don't understand the pledge or the issue. What does "getting out of the car" mean?

Are you going to continue examining the police story? Have you tried to recreate the shoot-an-AK-from-behind-the-back-quick-draw?

Are you going to examine how Renn got off 11 shots, despite being struck by a gun that would put him out of the battle, immediately?

Are you going to get any additional testimony to see who shot first?

Anonymous said...

Perry is proud of his brothers & sisters! Perry never backed down to Leftists, Liberals, or CRIMINALS!

Police will get out of their cars and they will come after you, Criminals!!!!

Beware. If you do the crime, you will do the time.

-and your Mommy isn't getting your out of your Responsibility for Your Choices!

Anonymous said...

They’re brave, so very brave. And this Davis family is just trash; full of excuses for their nasty lives and sociopathic behaviors. We’re not Singapore so we don’t throw the lot of them down for a good caning. And we don’t even “punish” the criminal element any more; not really. We just run them through endless rounds of court hearings and ankle bracelets and probation. But we don’t really punish them the way we would if we were getting serious. I think the police should be able to drop troublemakers into a 4 day jail stay on bread and water so they can think about the error of their ways. Second time offenders off to a boot camp where they work. This business of them walking around Indianapolis all day long armed and high and looking for trouble is just weakness on our part and a shocking abdication of duty by the Courts. Indianapolis could get control if it wanted. We just don’t have the will. The problem isn’t the police. We should look more to the Courts.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I've laid out the facts as they were recited in the probable cause affidavit, anon. 7:31. People are free to draw their own conclusions from them, but it's going to be the job of the prosecutor's office to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Davis proked the shooting and fired first. Hopefully, Davis will have competent legal counsel who will challenge the prosecution's evidence and offer evidence, if any, that would show otherwise to allow jurors to reach a fair and just conclusion.

Anonymous said...

This piece poses a complex question. The behaviors which the Davis family have long graced this community are inexcusably sociopathic and repugnant to lovers of liberty, the law, and life. The ignorance put on full parade via the WISH-TV 8 video after the murder was just stunning in its display of sheer idiocy.

Upon first learning of the social media campaign I was immediately confused. The nature of being a police officer is a career fraught with danger. I respect the good cops but I also expect anyone who freely accepts a police badge to "get out of the car" without a slogan.

Sadly, there are a lot of "Davises" around.. people who think they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter how it hurts others, no matter what the law says, no matter what is right, no matter what is wrong.

In my opinion, some of these "Davises" live off alleys, some live in the "best" communities corded off from the streets. Some are unemployed and some work in or are elected to "government" and some work in law firms.

Few attitudes will be changed by this sloganeering but minds and hearts will probably harden even more.

Perhaps this event is actually a reflection of a City totally unmoored from morality and adrift as it has been for a very long time. How can we expect citizens to be lovers of liberty and the law when a City's politicians for the most part are not?

Anonymous said...

"I've laid out the facts as they were recited in the probable cause affidavit, anon. 7:31"

But I notice you didn't comment on these "facts." You'll state your opinion on 9/11, Obama's lineage, his gender preference, and upon multiple other subjects, and good for you. The presentation of your reasoned opinions makes this blog a lively place to review and discuss current events of note.

You're smart. You're a lawyer. Analyze the report. Did that make sense? Would it make a credible scene if you were a screenwriter?

"it's going to be the job of the prosecutor's office to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Davis proked the shooting and fired first."

Oh, please. That's a facile response. In Indy, a defense attorney who tries to mount a vigorous defense for Davis will be personally destroyed.

An attorney who examines or criticizes the cops will suffer the same fate. I appreciate your prudence in not exploding the police report, but I don't like it.

The jails have lots of innocent people who were found to have committed the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Davis will almost certainly get a public defender appointed.

We don't have an effective press in Indianapolis that keeps the government honest.

A noisy and persistent press might be Davis' best hope, and only the alternative press is doing any real work in Indianapolis.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You obviously didn't read my prior post on the probable cause affidavit or you would know that I pointed out a lot of unanswered questions and contradictory statements from witnesses.

Unknown said...

Why is Anon 7:31/8:48 so full of hate? Why does he hate the police so much? He also seems to hate the government. I wonder what his problem is?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who shot first. If you point again at me I am going to shoot you. Davis could have put the gun down after officers yelled at him to do so.

Anonymous said...

"It doesn't matter who shot first."

It absolutely does. The chronology verifies the police report. While it might not matter who shot first to justify officers defending themselves, once the police report is written, it does matter who shot first to explain and verify the police report.

Did Renn open fire on a defenseless Davis, causing him to retrieve his gun and return fire in self defense?

If Davis fired first, Renn could not have returned a single shot, so who fired the bullets from his gun?

Four shell casings were found. If Davis had fired his gun earlier, causing the "shots fired" call, why are there only four shell casings found? At least two need to be recovered to explain the "shots fired," but all four shell casings could have been the result of Davis' recreational shooting.

Did Davis actually shoot Renn? Is Renn's injury consistent with a rifle round at short range? Of course, he's buried, so that evidence is gone.

Which officer fired first? How is it that Davis didn't shoot Gallico? How is it that Renn fired eleven times, but Gallico four?

Bowser, just because Davis is black doesn't mean he has no rights or can be killed for sport. When the government shoots at people, we need to examine every last detail, over and over, with a microscope, to ensure that shooting was the best an only option.

Or are you more Josef Stalin in your politics?

Anonymous said...

Let's remember,IMPD is the organization that did everything within its means and power to try and get the drunken bastard known as David Bisard from being held accountable for his egregious actions.

IMPD has no credibility. Neither does the Ballard administration or the F.O.P.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:39 you are really an idiot. What stupid hypotheticals you propose. “Did Renn open fire on a defenseless Davis, causing him to retrieve his gun and return fire in self defense?” These are not the questions of a serious man. Davis was firing his weapon in a residential neighborhood. When the police came to investigate he turned on Renn and shot him and was shot by him. There are very few questions that need to be answered. You people who think a clever defense lawyer should get Davis off are part of the problem not part of the solution.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the pledge be "I Will Always Exit My Vehicle" ?

Anonymous said...

This is a bad PR move. It's obviously a rebuttal to the Davis family. I think this little PR stunt will raise tensions. IMPD under the leadership of Ballard seems intent on creating a wedge between its officers and civilians. I remember well how IMPD conducted itself during the entire number of months (going into multiple years) in their defense of David Bisard.

Under the (and I use the word loosely) leadership of Hite and Ballard,IMPD seems like an organization which only wants support from the public when it wants the public's dollars to benefit them. Using dead cops to garner political support for your organization seems a little below the belt.

IMPD sure didn't mind creating a wedge with the public at the onset of the Bisard case. I guess they think the public has a short memory. And they might be right.

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Evidently you know nothing about the Davis family so once again you need to check yourself we all make bad mistakes but unfortunately Major jr. will pay a stiff price for his..

Anonymous said...

Where you there? Maybe you have video footage of the event! That has got to be it. It is unfathomable for law enforcement to falsify reports. Especially, when it concerns possibly making fatal mistakes that would have severe repercussions. We all know law enforcement are cut from the same cloth is God himself, and are absolutely incapable of wrongdoing or lying.

Anonymous said...

Valid is he/she a idiot?

Anonymous said...

All this talk of falsifying reports in order to cover up egregious errors by the PD seems too far fetched to me (in this instance). Is it possible that a police agency would lie and the officer really did violate someones rights which led to a deadly altercation? Of course. Sad to say it happens. But lets also consider other explanations.

Anyone who's watched an episode of 20/20 knows that in a shooting situation like this, a lot of information will be contradictory. Witness accounts will be unreliable as well as officers reports, not because they are flat out lying but because the stress and chaos of the situation tends to distort memories. This has been observed time and time again. As a cop I can tell you that after action reports show, most officers cannot tell you how many shots they fired after they were involved in a shooting. The adrenaline dump is too intense to recount everything perfectly.

As far as the actual hard evidence i.e. how many shots were actually fired, I haven't studied this as in depth as some of you may have. But isn't it possible that Davis never actually fired the shots that led to the call but instead it was a ploy by him or his group to lure police in for the sake of shooting them? This could shed light on the discrepancy between how many rounds were exchanged and how many were remaining in the mags afterward. Like I said I don't know all the facts so if there is some testimony refuting this then disregard my last paragraph.

Arnell Hill said...

An Indianapolis Police Department officer was killed last month in the line of duty. Allegedly a family member of the alleged shooter stated that the officer would not have been killed if the police officer had stayed in his police car. That response prompted a rally cry of "I will always get out of my car" from the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). That slogan was printed on the back of T shirts initially being sold by the FOP honoring the fallen officer.

It is understandable that police would react in the manner they have. Plus it is understandable for the public at large to rally around a fallen officer. The public only sees that someone sworn to protect them was slain for no reason.

The public is missing another meaning to the slogan "I will always get our of my car". It's a meaning that the public at large would not know about, unless they were past victims of police misconduct. African American/Black men have long been recipients of the "I will always get out of my car" mentality when it comes to police at times harassing Black Men for no reason than because they can. Whether it's a white police officer stopping a Black man for "DWB" driving while black to an instance where a white police officer gets out of their car to apply a choke hold to an unarmed Black man resulting in the Black man's death. In the book "An Actor and a Gentleman" by academy award winning actor Lou Gossett, Mr. Gossett recalls the day in 1968 when Los Angeles, California policemen stopped him, and left him handcuffed to a tree for three hours. His crime was driving a fancy convertible car in an area where it was not typical to see a Black man driving such a car.

Historically, whether it was the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles by police, or the instance in the 1970s where Indianapolis Police were involved in the "suicide" death of a young Black man while he was handcuffed in the back seat of a police car, white police officers have always taken the opportunity to get out of their car. All those instances of police getting out of their car did not result in honorable behavior towards Black men. There were instances where white police officers harassed Black men and sometimes falsely arrested Black men, because they could.

The slogan, "I will always get out of my car" therefore has a different meaning to some. To some who have been harassed, it means police think they have the right to violate, harass, and demean someone based on their authority. To some it means police have the right to wrongly profile someone as a criminal because of that policeman's personal views of Black people. To some it means police have the right to shoot a Black man because the police feels threatened based on their personal fears and thoughts.

Police officers have the right to get out of their car and be respectful in the conduct of their duties. Police do not have the right to harass Black men for the sport of it.

Black people understand that police have the right to get out of their car. We just want you to pause and understand that some police have not gotten out of their cars and approached us in a respectful manner when all we were doing is driving our car. We understand your emotional reaction to the loss of your brother in arms. We just want you to take time to think about the people you are policing and the experiences they have with the police. Maybe you should print another edition of your shirts. "I will Always Get out of My car and Be respectful".

Arnell Hill said...

Ferguson, Missouri. Another example of how the black community is impacted by a policeman who will always get out of his car.

Anonymous said...

You know what? You all are right. Let's have our police officers not get out of their cars. Wouldn't want to offend any black people. Oh, you were in a car crash? Need someone to hold your hand and keep you calm while they work on getting you out of the mangled wreckage? Need someone to do a robbery report after you were robbed at gun point while in your home? Need someone to save you DURING that robbery? Need someone to give you a ride to get gas after you ran out on the interstate, 15 miles from the nearest gas station? Oh, someone is chasing you on the interstate, got out of their car the next time you stopped and broke all your windows out? You want someone to catch the possible drunk driver that you called in on 911?

I'm sure you can deal with those things on your own, so yeah, let's just have all the police officers stay in their cars. I'm all for it; it's much safer for all the police officers that I know and care about. Maybe we won't have any more police officers murdered in the line of duty.