INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There are new questions about body cameras after the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released a video showing moments of an officer-involved shooting on the east side of Indianapolis.
The shooting happened back in April when police said Mack Long, 36, was shot and killed.
Police said it all started when they pulled over a car for a traffic stop at 31st Street and Sherman Drive. The officer asked the driver and the passenger for identification.
Police said the driver complied, but the passenger, now identified as Long, did not and took off running into a fence and wooded area.
The officer chased after him and police said at one point there was a struggle for the officer’s gun. Police said a second officer arrived on scene and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon, but he did not comply.
The second officer, identified as Jered Hidlebaugh, fired two shots that struck Long in the chest and wrist.
Police said officer Hidlebaugh was wearing a body cam as part of a pilot program.
IMPD Chief Rick Hite told 24-Hour News 8 that he wants to be transparent and to build trust with people living in the community.
His goal in the end is to have every officer wearing a body cam. Police said some officers have been testing out the cameras these past couple of months.
“What you see is basically part of that test model,” said Hite.
The body cam video released Thursday afternoon is several minutes long. Police said it’s giving the public a closer look into what happened that day when an officer shot and killed a suspect.
Police said Hidlebaugh was wearing a body cam and it was his second day with it on.
24-Hour News 8 learned that the camera is one of 65 being tested by IMPD officers across several districts.
“Our best case scenario would be to equip every officer on the department with cameras,” said Lt. Mark Wood, IMPD. “Like the chief said, that’s a discussion for the community to have with the taxpayers, to have with the council in terms of funding.”
Mark Wood has been overseeing the pilot program. He said each camera would cost anywhere between $600 to $1,200 dollars.
The cameras would cost the department an estimated $2 million.
“To be honest we’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback,” said Lt. Wood. “Literally nothing but positive feedback from our officers. They believe this is something that’s needed within our department.”
The police chief knows that the public wants transparency. He believes the body cams can serve as another tool when it comes to investigations.
“The video gives you an idea of what took place except all angles may not be there,” said Chief Hite. “It’s important to have good investigators and community involved in this process, but also we’re telling a complete story.”
Lt. Wood said the department will have to put together a report of the results from the testing then recommendations will have to be made. Police said the next step is to see if they actually have enough money to pay for it.