INDIANAPOLIS – A police pursuit ended with a deadly crash on the south side of Indianapolis Monday night.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department leadership says it all started when officers spotted the suspect driving a stolen truck near Garfield Park and gave chase.
Police admit the deadly chase and crash in the 4500 block of Madison Avenue had an unfortunate outcome, but investigators believe the officers involved did follow the department’s general orders, and the pursuit appears to have been justified.
Losing control and being thrown from a stolen truck as it crashed, police claim a man died trying to elude arrest. It was a tragic outcome IMPD has worked to avoid in recent years.
“We have decreased our pursuits quite a bit with our news general order,” said IMPD commander Kerry Buckner.
While internal affairs will investigate the case, commander Buckner insisted overnight a supervisor was monitoring the pursuit the entire time.
“We always default towards public safety. The days of chasing people for no reason are pretty much done,” said Buckner.
“Pursuits are inherently dangerous, so in order to reduce the risk to officers and the public, we have to look at ways to limit those pursuits,” said deputy chief Kendale Adams.
In fact, the department revised their pursuit policy in 2019 and finished training officers on the changes last year. The biggest difference is the new policy bans chases for certain minor infractions like speeding and running red lights.
”The whole goal is to protect the community and protect officers and reduce liability,” said Adams. “Hopefully, with this change in the policy, we’ll see a reduction in the number of pursuits.”
While driving a stolen truck is only a misdemeanor, officers are still permitted to pursue suspects for that reason.
Police added that the suspect who died Monday also had a GPS monitor on his ankle, but it wasn’t working, so it’s not clear if suspect was on pre or post-trial release.
An investigation this year by FOX59 found that with just over 4,000 GPS monitors in use, there are more people wearing electronic devices in Indianapolis than nearly anywhere else in the country, and at any given time, hundreds of those devices are removed or abandoned.
Aside from the suspect, no officers or civilians were injured during the pursuit.