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Two officers indicted for roles in shooting of man sleeping in grandmother’s driveway

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Two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers have been indicted for their alleged roles in the Dec. 31, 2022 shooting of a man sleeping in his car outside of his grandmother’s home. 

Carl Chandler and Alexander Gregory have been indicted on two counts of Aggravated Battery, Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, two counts of Criminal Recklessness and Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury.

All counts are felonies. 

An indictment is a finding of probable cause. The criminal cases will now proceed in Marion County Superior Court 20. 

A grand jury consists of six grand jurors and one alternative who resides in Marion County. 

Two officers indicted: Attorney statement

Attorney Stephen Wagner issued the following statement on behalf of Anthony Maclin:

Today a Marion County Grand Jury took the first step in holding IMPD Officers Alexander
Gregory and Carl Chandler accountable for their actions on December 31, 2022. On that day these two officers fired more than 30 rounds into Anthony’s car, three of which struck Anthony.

The supervising officer, Lucas Riley, fired only one round. This police shooting was senseless. Anthony was not committing a crime, was not accused of committing a crime, had not threatened anyone, had not attempted to harm anyone, and posed no immediate threat to the officers or anyone else.

Despite this, Gregory and Chandler fired into the car for seven seconds, unloading their magazines and leaving Anthony’s car riddled with bullet holes. While Anthony had a firearm in the car—and a license to carry the firearm—he never reached for the gun. He never had the gun in his hand, and he certainly did not point the gun at officers. Anthony’s only ‘offense’ was being a young black man in a high crime neighborhood.

This ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach to policing is illegal and cannot be tolerated, which is why the family is grateful that the criminal process will proceed against Officers Gregory and Chandler.

Although criminal prosecution is one way to hold police officers accountable, there is another obvious way to do so. Anthony and his family again call upon Chief Randal Taylor to suspend Officers Gregory and Chandler without pay and recommend their termination by the Merit Board. Although the Merit Board cannot take final action until after the criminal process plays out, Chief Randal has the authority to recommend termination and suspend the officers without pay for up to six (6) months. He has done that selectively in the past, but never in a case involving deadly force. This unwritten policy sends the wrong message to IMPD officers. Until officers understand that they will lose their job and paycheck if they violate policy when using deadly force, they will continue to do so.

Two officers indicted: Conflicting accounts

Released body camera footage shows city police only took seven seconds before they fired 30 rounds into Anthony Maclin’s window as he slept in a rental car in his grandmother’s driveway last December.

At around 4 a.m. on Dec. 31, officers were dispatched to the 3600 block of North Oxford Street on the city’s northeast side on a “report of a suspicious vehicle in the driveway,” police said originally in a statement.

Anthony Maclin’s grandmother, Vicki Driver, had made the call to police, saying “she did not know who it was,” according to police.

RELATED: IMPD shoots man apparently sleeping in grandma’s driveway; listed in stable condition

Driver said she couldn’t see anyone in the car from her vantage point on the porch. She didn’t feel it was safe to check the car alone. However, according to Driver, she told the 911 dispatcher that it could be one of her grandkids.

Once they arrived at the scene, officers ran the Florida plates on the vehicle and then confirmed with Driver that she did not have family from Florida. Three minutes after police arrived, an officer knocked on the window and announced, “Police. Hands up,” according to the body camera footage. They attempted to open the doors, which were locked.

IMPD’s critical incident video:

Officers observed “an adult male who appeared to be sleeping in the driver’s seat of the running vehicle and was armed with a gun,” police originally said in a press release.

It took only seven seconds between the time police announced their presence and when the three officers opened fire.

In the original press release, police said Maclin “moved his arms towards the officers.”

However, at the beginning of January, a police spokesman told the Recorder that detectives had reviewed the footage but could not conclusively confirm if the gun was in Maclin’s hands.

In addressing the department’s contradictory accounts, Maclin’s attorneys tell a different story.

They said the body camera footage clearly shows Maclin never had a gun in his hand. Maclin never pointed a weapon at officers.

“The family has seen the body cam (footage) and . . . it shows what Anthony remembers,” Wagner said. “He never grabbed the handgun.”

Officers fired more than 30 rounds at Maclin inside of the car, hitting him three times — once in the right shoulder, in his lower rib and through his left bicep.

“The only thing worse than their training was their aim,” Wagner said. “Thank God.”

Appearing with his family at the press conference, Maclin was visibly shaken and at times at a loss for words.

“He never grabbed the handgun”

“As soon as I heard anything, I immediately wake up, just looked to my right and left and was immediately getting shot at,” Maclin said, speaking from a wheelchair.

Maclin’s attorney alleged the three officers realized almost immediately what a horrible mistake they had made. Officers verbalized that on the video.

After the shooting, police ordered Maclin to get out of the car with his hands up. Maclin got out, was handcuffed and placed on the ground.

Officers began administering first aid once they noticed his wounds, Driver said.

Maclin repeatedly asked officers to remove the handcuffs while he was on the ground. At one point can be heard on the video saying, “I don’t know if I’m going to die or not.”

Maclin was taken to IU Methodist Hospital in stable condition, though his attorneys said his injuries were “life threatening” because he was immediately placed in the ICU.

A grandmother’s shaken faith in the IMPD

Driver’s voice trembled at the press conference as she recounted the incident. She said the barrage of gunfire happened so quickly. When the car door opened and her wounded grandson emerged, Driver was in disbelief.

“When that door opened and I seen Anthony and I said, ‘Anthony, I’m so sorry,’” she said.

Driver said Maclin drifted in and out of consciousness and she begged him not to close his eyes. Maclin responded, “Grandma, I got this. Grandma, I’m going to be OK.”

Driver, who serves on the police department’s Critical Incident Review Board, said the incident has shaken her faith in the IMPD. She said it is too painful to watch videos knowing other families could be going through the same thing.

“I believe that other measures could have happened. Now, I don’t think I want to serve on that board anymore,” Driver said.

Maclin said he’s still “in a lot of pain.” Simple things like sleeping, eating and breathing are hard, he said. One bullet lingers in his ribcage, causing him pain with every breath. “I’m pretty banged up.”

Maclin said he thinks he may be able to walk again if he “keeps working at it.” He’s not sure how he will be impacted moving forward.

“Hopefully, I’ll recover and have a good recovery, but I’m not sure how things will be,” said Maclin.

Why didn’t Driver recognize the car?

Maclin’s attorneys filed a tort claim with the Office of Corporation Counsel seeking financial compensation against Mayor Joe Hogsett, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and the three officers – Carl Chandler, Lucas Riley and Alexander Gregory — alleging the officers violated Maclin’s civil rights in the use of excessive force.

The claim also alleges Maclin’s grandmother suffered emotional distress “for having to witness the horrific shooting of her grandson in her own driveway.”

The city now has 90 days to either approve or deny the claim. If denied, Maclin and Driver can sue the city and IMPD in court. 

When reached for comment, the mayor’s office referred the Recorder to the Office of Corporation Counsel, saying “out of respect for the judicial process, the City of Indianapolis does not comment on potential litigation.”

Maclin and his attorneys said they want the unedited body camera footage released to the public. They also want for the three officers to be fired and criminally prosecuted.

Maclin, who now lives in Ohio, drove a rental car to Indianapolis that December night with plans to surprise his grandmother with breakfast and pick up his own car that morning from a repair shop. Earlier that night, he hung out with friends and arrived at the house around 3 a.m., Wagner said.

Not wanting to wake his grandma, Maclin opted to sleep in the driveway.

Driver said she noticed the taillights of the unfamiliar car.

Driver couldn’t see anyone inside after flicking the porch lights on and off.

Scared, Driver called the police.

Contact staff writer Jayden Kennett at 317-762-7847 or by email JaydenK@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @JournoJay.

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