November 22, 2022

Federal judge hears arguments to release entirety of body cam footage documenting Herman Whitfield III’s death

Federal judge hears arguments to release entirety of body cam footage documenting Herman Whitfield III’s death

A federal judge heard arguments this week to release all of the body camera footage of Herman Whitfield III’s death.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released a narrated and edited version of the video this summer. However, Whitfield’s family argues in a lawsuit against the city that the account is biased and doesn't show the full incident. They want the entirety of the footage released. A federal judge ruled that the city must respond to their request by next week. The city may decide to file a motion for the discovery process in the case to be stopped.

Whitfield’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and six IMPD officers earlier this year. Whitfiled, 39, died on April 25 after being tased and restrained by officers called to the scene for an apparent mental health crisis. The Marion County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, citing the cause to be “cardiopulmonary arrest in the setting of law enforcement subdual, prone restraint, and conducted electrical weapon use.”

The city of Indianapolis does have a mental health response team, called MCAT, but it was not on duty during the time of the incident. No criminal charges have yet been filed against the officers involved. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is still investigating the case.

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