INDIANAPOLIS — Attorneys have filed a motion to block the release of Indy police bodycam footage taken the night Herman Whitfield III died.
The motion was filed in regard to the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate of Whitfield III, who died in IMPD custody on April 25 after being tased and handcuffed while laying on his stomach.
The city of Indianapolis, along with 6 IMPD officers, are listed as defendants in the lawsuit. Defense attorneys said in court Monday that they want the court to issue a temporary blockage of the bodycam footage, arguing the footage could affect the integrity of the investigation.
The defense claimed that because a grand jury has not been convened for the trial, it is too soon to make the footage public. They also said that the potential harm to the IMPD officers involved is too great to justify releasing the unedited video.
Last week, a judge gave the attorneys until Monday to release the footage of the fatal incident, described below.
IMPD officers were called in late April 2022 to a home in the 3700 block of Marrison Place, where 39-year-old Herman Whitfield III was having a mental health episode.
Whitfield’s mother had called 911, asking for an ambulance to help her and her husband get mental health care for their son. Instead, the lawsuit claims, police deployed a Taser and killed him.
Police said in April that Whitfield ran toward an officer while officers were in the Whitfield home, causing the officer to deploy his Taser. Whitfield died during the incident.
All IMPD officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave as they await trial. It is now up to a judge to make a ruling on the defense’s motion to block the footage’s release.