In another horrific incident which is bound to raise yet more questions about police officers’ use of lethal force in the U.S., Indianapolis cops shot and killed a man who allegedly refused to drop a knife.
Shocking video footage, filmed by bystander Steven Chambers, shows the moment the shooting occurred, with the man, dressed only in boxer shorts, surrounded by four officers before he is shot four times in the chest.
Chambers said he uploaded his video of the shooting to Facebook before his phone was confiscated by police. It has since been uploaded to Live Leak and you can watch it below – but be warned its graphic nature may be distressing to some.
According to reports from local media, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that officers responded to a report of a suicidal person at around 11.30am on Saturday morning.
They encountered the knife-wielding man, who they claim ignored multiple orders to drop his weapon. The police also say they used a Taser on the suspect but “it appeared to have no effect on him”, and they attempted to wrestle the knife away from the man but were unsuccessful.
It was at that point two police fired at the man, after he lunged at an officer.
Lt. Richard Riddle, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, defended the officers’ use of lethal force in the incident, saying they “had no other choice”.
Speaking at a news conference, he said:
We have homicides, we have stabbings, we have serious violent offences that occur daily in this city via the use of a knife. So a knife is deemed to be a deadly weapon in any vernacular and our officers were confronted with an individual who was armed with a knife and who refused to drop it. Our officers were ultimately forced to use deadly force in the incident. Once the individual was on the ground, there was no additional use of force.
The police department said the officers involved in Saturday’s shooting had been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
The killing sparked an angry reaction from the crowd gathered at the scene, with a number of residents in the neighbourhood confronting the officers and smashing the windshield of a police car.
Many more will also question whether lethal force should have been used against the man, who has since been identified as 25-year-old Christopher Goodlow, especially when he would appear to be suffering from mental health issues.