INDIANAPOLIS–Video from body cams has been released from an incident where Indianapolis Metro Police shot and killed a woman who was ID’d as a person who refused to stop for cops at 38th and Martin Luther King on Sept. 24. In the video Jessie Leonard, 36, is shot and killed by officers after pulling a gun out of her waistband and pointing it at the officers.
The incident started at 1:30 p.m. when a woman in a white hoodie, driving a red Honda Pilot refused to pull over for officers. Per department policy, they did not pursue the Honda, said the video released by police. About an hour later, Officer Keith Shelton found the SUV in front of a house at 556 Eugene St., not far away from the original incident.
Leonard was on the porch and claimed not to know to whom the car belonged.
“I’ve been living here for about four or five years. I’ve been seeing it for about two years off and on,” said Leonard, in the video.
Shelton called for backup and spotted Leonard’s gun when she put it in her waistband, said the video. He informed other officers when they arrived.
“This girl up here on the porch, she’s got a gun in her waistband. Just a heads up,” said Shelton, talking to his backup. Once he saw the gun, he disengaged from the conversation. Officers Joseph Reynolds and Dylan Sheets waited with Shelton for Officer Joshua Smith, who was involved in the original incident and attempted to determine whether Leonard was the woman who had been driving the Pilot.
All four officers approached the porch, where Leonard was sitting on the rail.
“Don’t come no closer,” she shouted at the officers. “Hey, I need to talk to you, okay?” said Smith. “Don’t come no closer,” said Leonard again.
“Don’t you dare f*cking touch it!” said one of the officers, as Leonard pulled the pistol and pointed it at them. Multiple shots were fired by the officers. “Son of a bitch,” said one officer, as he approached the porch. “Life-saving…”
They immediately called in the shooting and attempted to help Leonard. But, she died.
The shooting is being investigated by IMPD’s Critical Incident Response Team, with a separate Internal Affairs investigation. The Marion County prosecutor’s office is also being consulted. The civilian-majority Use of Force Review Board will also review the shooting after the criminal investigation.
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