Gary Harrell’s life and legacy: An interview with his sister, Missy Williams

On August 3, 2023, Gary Dwayne Harrell (known affectionately as Baby Gee) was shot in the back and killed by IMPD cop Douglas Correll, who has since been placed on paid administrative leave. For seven months, the family members alongside a coalition of religious leaders, community organizers, and other concerned community members continued to struggle for justice for Harrell and other victims of IMPD shootings, calling in particular for the prosecution of Douglas Correll. This struggle that still goes on today runs on the fire the coalition gets from those communities of recent IMPD victims, a fire that burns brightest in those who were closest to Gary: his family.

Most of the mainstream media coverage of Harrell cover some details of the shooting and responses from both the community and the IMPD; most of that coverage focused solely on what happened August 3, with little background on who Gary Harrell was. One news source that did include any background chose to only point out his history of past traffic violations.

The Indianapolis Liberator presents an alternative perspective that comes not from the IMPD but from the people who actually knew Gary. We asked for an interview with Melissa “Missy” Williams, Gary’s sister, who has been a leading member of the coalition, an ask we knew would be difficult. Williams accepted and, in what follows, you can clearly hear (and read) who Gary Harrell was to his family, how grave his loss is for our communities, and why we need to continue mobilizing whatever the odds.

Missy Williams on her brother, Gary Harrell


Liberator: All right, so first I just wanted to ask a little bit about your family in general. Have you always lived in Indianapolis?

Missy: Yes.

Liberator: Awesome. That brings on my next question of what are your thoughts in that whole time you’ve lived here on how the city’s progressed, what it was like as a child versus what it’s like now? Do you feel like it’s changed at all?

Missy: It’s changed. It’s changed completely.

Liberator: Yeah?

Missy: Yes, as you’ve grown up, as you’re an adult, yes, Indianapolis changed all, just completely. It ain’t like it used to be back then. You know what I mean? They changed all the way.

Liberator: What did it used to be like to you when you were young? 

On the increasing police violence in Indianapolis

Missy: Coming up, we… How can you say it? Okay. Like when we was coming up, I’m 43 years old. I’ve been here all my life. I was born in the 80s. I remember when I was five years old. I remember when I was six years old. You used to can, can call the police. We used to can do different things without the police doing the things they doing now. Now it’s just like, You can’t call them? We can’t call them. Is it safe to call them? We call them to ask for help. Are y’all going to help us? Or do we got to second guess ourselves now?

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: And it’s crazy. But they’re here to protect us. But now we here, now… Are y’all here to protect us? That’s the quick key word now. Are y’all here to protect sir? Are y’all here to just take us out of here?

Liberator: And that’s how it feels now compared to when you were a kid?

Missy: Right.

Liberator: Yeah, okay.

Missy: Like you got some good cops and you got some bad cops. But at the same time, you still got a job you gotta do. And you don’t know if you called if they’re gonna do that job or they’re gonna… What they’re gonna do. What they’re gonna do, yeah. Cause you never know, you might be working with a mental person. A person with health problems. And first thing y’all ready to do is draw your guns. It ain’t the people, it ain’t the guns killing people. It’s the people who killing people. It ain’t just, it’s the cops. But it’s other people too. You know what I mean? But at this point, I’m not worrying about it. It’s sad because right now we go and we ask questions. Y’all don’t want to give us no answers. In this world, lost still…

Liberator: If we could shift for a second. You were talking about what the city was like as a kid. Could you tell me what Gary was like when you were growing up in this building? I noticed you smiled when you said that…Take your time.

Gary’s childhood and family

Missy: Growing up in the house with Gary, it was fun. It’s like my mother had six kids. Six, she had two boys. Her oldest boys. Gary was the oldest. Then there was little Ricky. Then she had two twins. Then there’s me. Then there’s my baby, our baby sister, Tiana. But we was always protecting our baby girl. The one underneath him, Ricky, always stayed over at his grandfather’s house. He used to go over every weekend. But other than that, we used to walk to the store. Momma sent him to the store. He was little. We were like, come on. He was like, come on, we’re going this way. We were like, nah, them dogs back there. He used to always want to take us somewhere around where he knew we was scared of dogs. So we’ll go, we’ll be like, okay, hold on, hold on. Then he’ll be like, okay, y’all go ahead in there and get mama’s stuff and see what she, get everything she want. I’m like, she said you! He would never go in that store with them food stamps. He would not go in go to the store with the food stamps. He, I don’t care, he’ll go, if he’s going by himself, he’ll tell mama they ain’t have it, or the store was closed. We used to always crack up laughing, and then we was like, man, why you just want to go to the store with the food stamps? And then my mama used to leave them, my mama used to go to work, and we used to be at home. And him, my cousins, and his couple friends, they used to lock us up in the room. Like lock us in the room, like we can’t go nowhere. I’m telling you, we had fun coming up with him. You know what I mean? I’d be like, okay, we’re gonna get you back. I’m gonna get you back. So, one time he was sleeping. I was looking, I was looking, I don’t know what made me do it. You know, I had some, I like, I know pepper, they like, pepper makes you sneeze. So, when he would sleep, I’d put some pepper up his nose and he’d start sneezing. He said, I’m gonna get you another one. Other than that, we had fun growing up.

Liberator: He’d be playing pranks.

Missy: When we were going to school, he used to make sure our clothes was ironed. He made sure we had everything we need. You know what I mean? He was a big brother. You know what I mean? A big brother. And to this day, when he left here, he was a big brother. You know what I mean? Yes, he did his little crime industry. Yes, he did. But he changed a whole lot. To know him, I’m telling you, you just gotta know him. You know what I mean? Yes, at the time, he has the attitude. But also, you have to do something to him. He just ain’t just gonna walk up to you and do something to you. You have to do something to him. Other than that… Other than that, we had a good relationship. You know what I mean? All of us. And then he’ll come up, he’ll be like, what’s this and that? He just talk to us. He sit down, talk to us, tell us what’s going on. In society, being a big brother like a brother’s supposed to have. He’ll tell us, this is right, this is wrong. You know what I mean? He taught us. When my mama wasn’t there, or my father wasn’t there, he was there. And that’s what we had to obey and look up to. You know what I mean? Even though we didn’t want to, he was, oh my God, strict. He was strict? Yeah, he was straight. I said, I was like, uh-uh, I can’t stay with two of you. He’s like, you don’t got, he told me I don’t got no other choice. I said, I locked myself in the bathroom one time because I didn’t want to come out. He’s like, he had a, when he got through crazy cleaning up the house, we caught ourselves wanting to go and mix up some flour, water. Me and my sister make a big old mess. When I say he made us clean all of it up and put us in the corner for a long time, I was like, uh-uh, no, no, no, no, no, no. I kept on coming out the corner. He’s like, uh-uh, you can’t do that. But other than that, growing up with him, up in the house, He taught us how to ride a bike. When my father was gone to do construction or mowing some grass. He taught us how to ride a bike. He taught us how to tie up our shoes. You know what I mean? He taught us how to iron, how to put a crease in your pants, how you line your pants up. Man, he just, man, it just, it’s just so much. It’s a lot. He taught us don’t never let nobody bully you. He taught don’t never let nobody bully. And he always said, when a person hit you, you always go and tell the teacher, something went wrong with your stuff. And then when we got in middle school, we were like, nah, we in middle school, why we gonna go tell the teacher? He’s like, you gotta still tell the teacher. That teacher don’t do nothing, that’s when you do what you do. And I’ll be like, huh? So you just want somebody to be like, nah, Missy is this, because they call me Missy. And then he called, he had always had a name for each one of us. He had a unique name. And as we was growing up, his, like me and his bond was different from…

Liberator: From anybody else?

A man with unbreakable bonds

Missy: From any other siblings. And then it’d be like him and my brother bond. They had a bond and you’d be like, what the heck? What? Then him and my sister, them, the twins, they had a bond. Each one of us had our own unique bond with him. You know what I mean? Like, can’t nobody understand our bond. So then as we got grown, He started, like our cousins now, it was, he started doing it with them, different type of bonds. You know what I mean? And then we’d be like, and then I’d be like, man, nah, uh-uh, uh-uh. I’d be getting mad. He’s like, why you getting mad for? You, you my baby sister. Why you getting mad for? I’d be like, nah, why you doing that? Then he’d be like, Missy. My bond with you is my bond with you, and that’s how we connect. But my bond with this person is my bond with this person, and that’s how we connect. I never understood that until he left here.

Liberator: What does it mean to you now?

Missy: What it means to me now…

Liberator: You said you never understood it.

Missy: I never understood it. Like… It’s like… It’s like… I don’t got a bond with my three sisters.

Liberator: Not in the way you have with him?

Missy: Not in a way like I have with my two brothers.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: But my baby sister, I got more of a good bond with her than I have with my twin sisters. You see what I’m saying? And how he, it’s just like, I be like, what the heck? But he taught me how to, how you handle other people different, basically. Like, you might not wanna, you handle them accordingly how, like, you don’t gotta treat them mean, you don’t gotta treat them bad, you just, handle em according to, how you doing, don’t, you know what I mean? Just be yourself, basically. But that bond which I have is just like, it ain’t going nowhere from where we at now. So, we got a bond, but it ain’t no connected bond. But we got a bond out this world, but dealing with me and him, we had a bond. Like, he be like, this our bond. I be like, you bald head, no neck. I don’t want to cut it.

Liberator: You’d be mad at him?

Missy: We ain’t mad, it’s how we talk to each other. Like, you know what I mean? He’s like, you suck a duck in the ass, you motherfucking bitch. You know what I’m saying? We had a bond, and I truly miss that. You know what I mean? People are like, what type of bond is that? No, that’s our bond.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: You know what I mean? He’d be like, Don’t worry about it. What he call me? Hold on. He say something to me. He say something to me. What he call me? He called me something Only thing I can do is crack up laughing. When I say he got me in tears, he got me in tears. I said, okay, I got you. I got you. Just hold on. I got you. You already know I’m coming back with one, right? That’s our, our thing. You know what I mean?

Liberator: Yeah.

On Gary’s legacy

Missy: Now, I know he was here. Just for a season or two, that man upstairs was ready to call him home. And he spread all his love to each and every one of us. Now, I’m looking at his life. Where do we start now? How we can start his legacy? How can we keep his name alive?

Liberator: I wonder if you’re doing that right now? Talking about it.

Missy: Yes. I talked about it. You know what I mean? And to the point where, how can we get a Gary Law in Indianapolis? You know what I mean? How can we do this? Because everybody can change. You know what I mean? Now it’s got to the point where we start it now.

Liberator: I see what you mean.

Missy: Because he’s no longer here with us. You know what I mean? We his voice. And we’re going to stand with him.

Liberator: And so that’s been what you, how you see it now or how you’ve been thinking about

Missy: Right.

His teenage years and early adulthood

Liberator: I wonder if I could ask, who was Gary like as you grew older, as you became teenagers?

Missy: Teenagers? He used to ride bikes. When he ride bikes, he used to, they used to make, what is them doing things? It’d be a board and they put a brick right there and they do wheelies. They go up the ramp and they do wheelies off up. They used to do weird stuff. And I’d be like, what? y’all gonna hurt yourself and then they do when i say they used to stack them up, and they used to go up on the ground real high you mean it we used to do a lot of stuff. We used to go outside, play camp in the backyard like let’s play camp and i’m like we we just used to do a lot of a lot of stuff together. There’s so much stuff, you know what I mean? I can’t, there’s just so much stuff. Now, to the point, we were planning a trip. We were planning a trip to, I want to say, I ain’t about to talk to my cousin. I think it was Las Vegas, his first time, Las Vegas, first time being on the spot.

Liberator: Okay.

Missy: We were planning a trip. And, we can’t even plan that trip now. We can, but the trip was planned for him. So, we went to Las Vegas. He was geek. He was geek. Book it, book it, I got it, I got it, book it, book it, book the ticket, book the ticket. He used to tell my little cousin Stephanie, little Stephanie, book it, book it, we going, we going. For real, cuz, cuz, we going, we going. And she say something, she said, cuz, you gonna like this man, that man, and this, this, this, and then she’s like, yeah, he’s like, yeah, yeah, book it, I’m not playing, book it. The only thing you see is his no-neck butt. And I’m like, look at that neck like I told you, you don’t got no neck. They say, hey, man, I wanna go. I’m like, we gonna go, what’s up?

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: He’s like, I don’t wanna drive, I wanna fly. He ain’t never flew before. And that would’ve been the first time he ever flew.

Liberator: And so, we’re starting to get into, too, what he was like when he was an adult, as you were older.

A giving spirit

Missy: He did his dirt out here on the street, yes. But he gave back, as an adult.

Liberator: What do you mean by that? Could you tell me more?

Missy: He used to go to the store, he’d go to the store and buy a gang of candy. Gang of candy. The kids knew when his car pulled up, he had candy. They’ll all go running out the house, wanting to go get candy. And then he came back. Like, as an adult, when I was 20 years old, each one of us had our kids.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: He brought big bags of baby clothes to us. He’s one of us, our first child. He’s helping with the first one. You’re on your own. So he brought big bags of clothes to us. When I say he had everything for me in that bag. He had pampers, he had bottles, he had the baby warmer. He had where you put the dirty diapers at. When I say he had everything in that bag, he had everything in that bag. Each one of us. We had kids in different years. He brought out big bags. He used to come. I’d be like, how you get there? He’s like, shoes. Somebody asked me did I want to buy it? I asked them how much they want. And I give him the money for it. But other than that, he kept us, he kept us in touch. He kept us up to date.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: When we was behind, he kept us up to date on clothes, shoes. Everything, what we needed, what we needed. He took care of you. When I say he was a big help to my mama and my daddy, he was a big help.

Liberator:  And that gets on to maybe the next kind of topic, because I was going to ask what you thought some of his best qualities were. And it sounds like that being able to take care of each one of them.

Missy: Yeah

Liberator: What other qualities would you say are some of Gary’s best qualities? Things you just love about him.

Missy: How… He embraced my momma and embraced my dad, my father. You know what I mean? When my momma and my daddy didn’t have it, he stepped up as a big brother and helped my momma. He took a lot off my momma and my father’s hands and to help six siblings. And then when my brother got up in his age, he did the same thing as my older brother. They really helped. When I say helped, I guess you’re taking that dog out now.

Liberator: No worries, no worries.

Missy: Yes, he really helped out. He paid for my mother’s trip. They went out of town before fourth of July last year. Now, 2023, he paid for my mother whole trip. Her clothes, made sure he paid for her whole trip. When I say the whole trip, he paid for the whole trip. He was there, and told my momma, have a good time. My momma didn’t want to go. He was like, uh-uh, you’re going. I got you. My momma went shopping. He was right there with my momma. Get what you want. Get everything what you need. When I say he paid my momma a whole trip, he paid my momma a whole trip. And that put a smile on her face, ear to ear. From ear to ear. Ear to ear.

Liberator: And I know we’ve talked about some of them already, but are there any other funny stories that we didn’t talk about that you really wanted to…?

A man who could make anyone laugh

Missy: Oh, man. Oh, my God. Her and my oldest daughter, she in the bathroom. Nu, Nu! No, no. Look, remember that day?

Break in interview as Missy pauses to take care of her dog

Missy: Remember that day…Remember that day we was sitting in the car and, um you and Gary uh was outside of the car and y’all was talking…When that dog, what happened?

Gary’s niece: He was trying to fit in his size? He was trying to fit in the same seat as me! He knew he couldn’t fit.

Missy: And he said, they both fighting over the front seat, over the passenger seat. I said, now I want to know how both of y’all want to split up… When I say the dog just came out of nowhere and both of them just ran to the other. It was so funny. It was funny at the time, but after, he’s like, I don’t hear nothing! Who’s dog is this? Get this goddamn dog! Don’t make my leg do the hucklebuck! I was like, man, what the heck? Everytime…

Break in interview as Missy and her daughter pause to take care of her dog.

Missy: So, he was just fun to be around. Honestly, he was real fun to be around. To know, you just gotta know. We had all the ups and downs. We all had our ups and downs. But, we could stay mad at each other as long as it ain’t 15, 20 seconds. No matter what. Because he’ll come in and be like, little big, little ugly ass girl, you know I still love her. And I’d be like, what? And you can’t even do nothing but laugh.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: It’s like, he said, you want to get out? And then he would just say, if you heard him have words. How they find it, it’d be like, like my cousin, Ashtray. Ashtray, you know I still love your bald-headed ass. And that, I’m just saying, it’s just all types of things. He’ll just come out the blue. Out the blue, it’d be like, what the hell? What the heck wrong? What? Gary, shut up. Dang. He’s like, you remember when I said I was going to, And I was like, man, this boy is crazy. It was never a dull moment with him. And I miss that about him. It’s never a dull moment. When you see me, at one time, sometimes I see myself, I’m thinking about the good times. And then, here you go right here.

Liberator: Yeah, it hits you.

Missy: It hit me all the way like, dang, like today it hit me. I find myself breaking down sometimes. Be like, why you leave me? Me myself saying that, why you leave me? Why would you leave me here? Why? Why you leave me? Was I not fun? Yeah, and then I’d be like, you know what? You right here with me.

Liberator: All those stories.

Missy: What I say, yes, I got a gang of stories. It can go on and on and on and on and on and on. He’ll come, my auntie will cook. It’s adulthood. My auntie will cook her food, her plates she’d be selling. We call her Big Steff. Big Steff. She’ll cook her food. We know what time he coming. He coming. He’d be over all day. He’s going back and forth down the street, down over my auntie’s house, over my mama’s house, over other people’s house. But when she’s cooking, we know he’s coming back over there. He’s going back and forth. But we already know. He’ll be here about 1:30, 2:00 o’clock in the morning. He’ll be here. And when he comes, he plays big. You know when he’s here. He’ll play that, turn that radio all the way up. And we be like, now we got, they be like, we got neighbors. When I say, yeah, you’ll know when he’s there. You’ll know when he outside. Cause he got that radio all the way up. What you know about this? What y’all know about this song? And I was like, now what do you know about this song? He’s like, man, you don’t know nothing about this song. And he’ll go to my momma and be like, momma, what you know about this song? Gary, my momma be like, Gary, I turned you on to that song. What you know about that song? And it be, boy, he’ll turn us on to some slow music and then we’ll turn him on to some slow music and then it be some, a record my momma played years ago when we was coming up as kids and we cleaning up and stuff, my momma playing, what she be, she play some Linda Jones, that was her record. I forgot the name of the record. And I ain’t hear the song in a long time. I ain’t hear the song in a long time. He came up. We sitting up on the porch. My mama and my auntie. A big step. We sitting up on the porch. He turned it up. He pull up. Turn it up and get out the car. Tell me what you know about this big step from mama. Y’all know nothing about this.

Break in interview as Missy pauses to take care of her dog

Missy: Then he be like, what y’all know about this? Y’all know nothing about this. Gary, you done this way before your time. And then they get to talk, and then he’ll be like, yeah, y’all know nothing about this. And then I get to doing, I was like, man, this man is crazy. I said, he didn’t sit your butt down. You need to sit down. You barely can walk. Because he… I want to say, what year was that? I want to say, no, it wasn’t 98. It wasn’t 99, I want to say early part of 2000. Or I want to say late 99. Or somewhere in between there. He was… some was dealing with his needs. He was in a car accident, or the police ran him over, one of them, one of them, and they messed his leg up. So, he had a limp. So… when I be having a sciatic nerve problem and I be limping, he be like, oh, they be like, son, why you limping? And then he’ll be like, Missy, why you limping? Same reason you limping. Why you limping? He’s like, my leg hurt. He had a little limp to him. He be like, you know what I mean?

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: Limp to him. And then I was like, man, the man probably can’t run. Then when I was looking at the radio, I said, if y’all call that running, I ain’t running. Not like he used to be. Not like he used to be.

Liberator: Not like he used to be.

Missy: Lay down, Keyston. Not like he used to be. He used to run, he used to play football coming up.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: He used to play football. Yes, he used to play football in high school. You know what I mean? He had a scholarship. You know what I mean? He used to play football. He used to wrestle. We’d play card games.

Who Gary was behind the headlines

Liberator: One other question I have… We can go on with it. Because I know you guys have so much, and I’m here for it. But one thing I was wondering, too, based on what you said, is what’s one thing you wish people out there, people in Indianapolis, that they understood about Gary, that they may not know if they just see, you know, what the news reported on the shooting or other stuff like that in the news about his death. What’s something they may not know about Gary that you wish people got, that people understood about him in the news?

Missy: Let’s come back to that question.

Liberator: That’s a tough one.

Missy: Yes, let’s come back to that question. 

Liberator: Okay. 

Missy: Because, oh wait, let me calm down for a minute.

Liberator: Take your time.

Missy: Okay, who Gary was, he was him, number one. And he turned all the way around. He did a whole 360. And he changed all the way around the world. He ain’t been in prison ever since 2000. About 10, 11, 12 years he ain’t been to prison in that long. So, he turned all the way around. But what I don’t understand about the public, why use his criminal background against him?

Liberator: Why is that the thing they’re focused on?

His past did not define him

Missy: Why is they focused on that? What y’all think, a person can’t change? That’s my thing. You know what I mean? He’s changed for the better. Not for the worse. At the time, they might have looked at it as, oh, he’s this, he’s that. But he changed that all the way around. And I say he, some people call it a 360. My cousin told me this. Doug Harrell. He said, some people- I said, that’s a 360, cuz. He’s like, nah, cuz, that ain’t no 360, cuz a 360 when you turn around.

Liberator: Is it 180?

Missy: A 360 in which, you always, when you flip, you always flipping in something different direction or something he was saying to me. I don’t know if you get it right. But 180 is when you flip and you flipped in the one, you doing a 180, basically. And I’m like, what do you mean by that? He’s like, once you think about it, and then come call me and ask me. Just call me back and tell me. And to this day, I’m trying to really figure it out. What do you mean? Hold on. Now, why you right here, you get 360. He’s like, 360, you…

Liberator: I think he means, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, 360 would be you go back to where you started.

Missy: Right!

Liberator: 180 means you’re in the opposite direction.

Missy: And basically, okay now, and basically.

Liberator: Is that what you mean? Like he turned things around 180.

Missy: Yes, he said 360 when you do, let’s say, you do a flip, he said just like that, you do a flip and you end back in the same spot. But he ain’t end back up in the same spot. He did a 180.

Liberator: And so he became…

Missy: A better person.

Liberator: A better person.

Missy: And he changed everything. He changed everything around. Wow. And to this day, I’ll be looking at him like, huh? Do you mean… I’m still thinking, do you mean 360? Why do you keep on saying 180? But, you know what I mean? You said the same thing when he said it. So, okay, I feel you where you’re coming from.

Liberator: Okay.

Missy: Yeah, he did a 180.

Liberator: And that’s what the public doesn’t know.

Missy: That’s what the public don’t know.

Missy: Yeah, and then to this day, I’m like, okay, I understand. Now, when I called him tonight, I’m like, okay, I had an interview about Gary. And you was correct when you said Gary, Gary, Gary, when you said, when I said Gary did his whole 360, he changed the route. He’s like, yes, you was right when you said Dougie, please put his name in there.

Liberator: Okay.

Missy: Dougie Harrell.

Liberator: Dougie Harrell.

Missy: Junior.

Liberator: Dougie Harrell Jr., got it.

Missy: Yes, you was correct. When I said Gary did a, he did a 360. You like, nah, cuz he ain’t do a 360. Cuz a 360, you feel me, stay in the same place. He did a 180, where he changed it around.

Liberator:  What did that 180 look like? What did he change for the better?

Missy: He used to fight a lot.

Liberator: What about when he changed for the better?

Missy: The better?

Liberator: What did he turn around?

Missy: What did he turn around? When he gave all that up, he came involved with his nieces and little cousins.

Liberator: He got back involved with family more?

Missy: With family more.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: And he gave a lot. When I say he gave a lot up, he gave a lot up. He gave a lot up. But other than that, you know what I mean? We all did stuff near the streets. But also, because he changed don’t mean you [police] got the right to take my life from me. And then use my criminal background against me?

Liberator: Trying to make it look like he’s somebody he’s not?

Missy: Right.

Gary’s death and the failure of IMPD

Liberator: And I wonder, what do you think needs to happen, like, to change Indianapolis, to make it safe to exist and keep what happened to Gary from happening to anybody else? You were talking about a Gary Law earlier and things like that.

Missy: When a person back is turned, you do not shoot. You do not shoot when a person back is turned. When a person got mental problems, it should be a team where you could call.

Liberator: You shouldn’t send people with police, with guns, or something like that?

Missy: Guns, because sometimes police might be scared too. Don’t get me wrong. But police also got protocols too. And by you being on the force, dealing with my brother, by you being on the force for 28 years, you’ve been a veteran for 28 years. You knew the protocols.

Liberator: There’s no excuse for shooting them in the back.

Missy: Y’all got the video.

Liberator: Mm-hmm.

Missy: Yeah, I got him getting out the car. You got him talking to you. Talking to the officer. Whatever it was, the lady ran out in front of me. Whatever he said. But you see him walk back to his car.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: His door wasn’t shut. His leg was up like this and his body was up like this. He’s like, let me call my mother. You hear this on the video.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: Real good. You this close to me as I’m sitting down in my car and you standing up.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: You could’ve did anything. Went on the call, back up while you talking, or anything. Before you even got out of your car, you could’ve called back up. It’s a way you could have handled that situation.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: But nah, what you did was you got out the car, like, where you going? Wherever he was standing, I’m dealing with the video. He sat back down. You steady talking to him as he’s sitting down.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: When he got up to run and turn that corner, you could have tased him. You could have shot him in his leg.

Liberator: You could’ve done anything else.

Missy: You coulda did anything but shot him in his back.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: And that’s where I have questions at. And on your command, as you said stop, you shoot. Drop it, you shoot. What was the cause of that?

Liberator: What is anybody supposed to do, yeah.

Missy: I wanna know what was the cause of y’all high-fiving each other at the end. Saying good job.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: What was the cause of that? I got plenty of answers for you. And I’m not stopping until I get my answers. I want that raw version released. I’m pushing for that. To get that raw version released. So, what was the cause of it? I’m going to see my brother in prison. They see my brother six feet deep in the ground.

Liberator: And so if I’m understanding, you’re saying that should never happen.

Missy: It should never happen. If somebody’s running away, they’re no threat. You should have called back up right then and there.

Liberator: And they need other things, yeah.

Missy: If you… If anything, you should have called back up right then and there. But other than that, you ain’t called for back up right then and there. Your camera’s still going. That’s the only thing I’m trying to really fix my head around. When did you call back up? After you shot him? That’s why I’m mad at him. It makes no sense.

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: And another thing is, how is that self-defense?

Liberator: Mhm, right.

Missy: That’s the same thing with me. How am I a threat to you when my back is turned to you? When you can answer that question for me, when they can answer that question for me, I can understand a logical reason. How am I a threat to you when my back is turned to you?

Liberator: Because it doesn’t make sense.

On the Chief of Police, the Prosecutor, and the fight forward

Missy: I’m still waiting on that answer. I’ve been waiting on Chief Taylor to tell me. Now I’m waiting on, what’s this other chief’s name who was in the building?

Liberator: The new chief?

Missy: The new chief. Yeah. He tell us, we’ll know something on this day. It’s up to the prosecutor. I thought it take a team to prosecute, right? Yeah, the prosecutor filed the charges, right? Well, who signing off on for his checks? Why is he [Douglas Correll] still getting paid? He shouldn’t be getting paid. Why is he on vacation still, right to this day? It’s been eight months. Eight months and what’s today? Thursday?

Gary’s niece: Yes, ma’am.

Missy: Thursday. I don’t know. Eight months and four days. He’s still on vacation. I just want to know, when are we going to get justice?

Liberator: Yeah.

Missy: They ain’t telling us nothing. I hope we can get some good news. I’m trying to get my car fixed too. I keep going to go to these meetings and go downtown because I’m telling you, my name is Melissa Williams. My family call me Missy. I’m on fire. And I’m not giving up. And I’m not going to go down there disrespecting.

Liberator: Absolutely.

Missy: I’m not going to go down there disrespecting. But, I’m going to speak my mind.

Liberator: Yeah. 

Break as Missy asks her family a question.

A message to the readers

Liberator: How do you want people who read the article on this interview when it comes out, how do you want them to remember Gary?

Gary’s niece: Caring, kind-hearted, open-minded.

Liberator: Yeah.

Gary’s niece: He’s very open-minded.

Missy: He’s very open-minded. Spoke his mind. He’s an outspoken person.

Liberator: Okay.

Missy: When you read this article, put it in your mind it could be one of your family members. It could have been one of your sisters. It could have been your sister, your brother, your father, your cousin, your grandmother, your grandfather, anyone, your best friend, a person you grew up with. It could have been one of them. Be mindful. You know what I mean? Death ain’t easy. Grief ain’t, grieving ain’t, it ain’t, everybody be like, you still grieving? Yes. And I ain’t never heard that it’s a certain time or a certain expiration date on grieving. I’ma grieve. We gonna grieve. We not gonna give up. We gonna be his voice. We gonna stand with him. We gonna stand on His name. That’s right. And we gonna get justice. They might not give it to us, but long as we keep getting on our knees praying, asking God to give us strength, that’s one person y’all can’t fight. And that’s that man upstairs, baby. Hey, I’m for real, man. He gonna help us through this. But other than that, we going to stand firm. We going to get some justice…

The final minutes are left out as Missy’s family had come over to visit, and so Missy was thanked for her time and the interview ended.

The struggle for justice continues

There is little left to say other than to emphasize that all our readers reflect on Missy’s words and as she stated be mindful of what it would be like if instead of Gary it was one of your loved ones. It is clear that Gary Harrell should not be defined by his past criminal history. Rather, to those who knew him best he was a man who was caring, kind-hearted, open-minded, who had worked so hard to turn his life around 180 degrees and be a big brother and source of so much joy and support to his family. That is the man who was killed on August 3.

It is also clear from this interview that Missy and other community members do not feel that IMPD is there to protect them, and that policing in this city needs to change to ensure there are no more victims of IMPD like Gary. Missy, her family, and other members of their community continue to fight and struggle for justice for Baby Gee with the firm conviction to get it. Lastly, if you are able to support Missy and her family in their current time of need as they are also attempting to secure housing while trying to fight for justice for Gary please click here to donate to them.

Featured photo collage: Gary Harrell on the left; his sister, Missy Williams, speaking at a rally for Gary in October 2023.