Protesters gather at 2:00 pm on August 6 to protest IMPD’s racist killing of Gary Dwayne Harrell. Photo: PSL Indianapolis
Update: Tonight, on August 6, join a vigil for Harrell at the corner of 34th St. and Parker Ave.
The Indianapolis branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation extends our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, community, and loved ones of Gary Dwayne Harrell (known to those close to him as Baby Gee). As we mourn the murder of the latest victim of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department—another Black member of our community—we salute Harrell’s family, community, and their close organizations for boldly and promptly hitting the streets for justice.
On the morning of August 3, an IMPD officer—who, of course, the police refuse to name and is on administrative leave—shot Harrell in the back as Harrell ran away from the cop. Because the entire system is set up to protect the police at all costs, the “official” narrative dominating the news is the one told by Harrell’s killer and his institution. This is the same police force that in the last few years killed Aaron Bailey, Eleanor Northington, Mack Long, DeShon Downing, and Herman Whitfield III. In May 2020, they murdered three people – Dreasjon Reed, McHale Rose, and Ashlynn Lisby – in eight hours.
IMPD sticks to the script but the community knows better
The IMPD is, unsurprisingly, sticking to its script. Department Assistant Chief Michael Wolley alleges a marked cop car pulled over Harrell for “driving recklessly” by Washington Park near the intersection of East 34th St. and North Parker Ave. “As the officer was speaking to the driver, the driver fled on foot with a gun in his hand,” Wolley said.
Seconds after starting to chase Harrell, however, the cop shot him in the back. Shortly after, Harrell died at the hospital. As the Indy Star reports, Wolley didn’t know if Harrell “fired any shots or pointed the gun at the officer before he was shot by police.”
We do not need to wait as the IMPD and local politicians do everything possible—including appealing to the courts—to delay releasing the full unedited bodycam footage and the rest of their evidence to know what really happened: The IMPD assassinated Harrell.
Harrell was innocent: The IMPD is guilty!
Harrell was innocent. Even if the police narrative is true and Harrell took a gun from his car—while driving in a city where it is legal to carry a weapon without a permit—and ran away from the police, he was innocent.
Given the IMPD’s lengthy and proven track record of racist killings and attacks, it is perfectly reasonable and understandable that Harrell—or any Black or oppressed person—would arm themselves and flee from the police.
Harrell was literally running for his life, just as Dreasjon Reed was in early May 2020.
Despite calls for patience, people hit the streets
With crocodile tears, IMPD’s Wolley asked the community to “continue to be patient as we work through this investigation.” Yet as this statement is being released, PSL Indianapolis is gathering at a protest organized by Harrell’s family, community, and supporters.
We will continue to stand with them and every other individual and organization fighting for justice for victims of IMPD’s terror.
The people have waited long enough.
Justice for Gary Dwayne Harrell!