Four Indianapolis police officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of McHale Rose, a 19-year-old Black man, will not face criminal charges.
According to WVVA, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced its decision in a 10-page report on Friday, describing the details of the May 7, 2020 incident. Prosecutors stated that Rose was armed with an AK-47-style semiautomatic rifle when he was shot. The office also said the officers' actions don't meet Indiana’s legal standard to support criminal charges, the IndyStar reported.
According to the prosecutors' report, the shooting happened after Rose called 911 to report a burglary around 1:30 a.m.
"I think it's a possible break-in," Rose told the 911 operator. "I think somebody's trying to break in somebody's house."
But an investigation later concluded that a burglary didn't take place.
Police said they returned fire after they were shot by a man standing outside the apartment with a rifle. The Marion County Coroner’s Office then identified Rose as the suspect. In addition to relying on forensic tests and eyewitness video, investigators also reviewed Rose's Instagram account, which he used to broadcast a live stream of the incident.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Rose’s conduct necessitated that the police defend themselves," prosecutors said. "The unbiased evidence shows that Mr. Rose shot first and police returned fire in self-defense."
Reviewing the Instagram broadcast, investigators said Rose was heard saying, "You guys are going to have to kill me. I'm not giving up."
"The officers can be heard instructing Rose to drop the weapon, put his hands above his head, and roll away from the weapon," the report stated. "At one point, Rose does roll away from the rifle. However, moments later he rolls back toward the rifle, picks it up with two hands, and points it in the apparent direction of the officers."
Hours before Rose's death, a fifth Indianapolis officer shot and killed another Black man, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed. Witnesses said shots were heard by thousands on Facebook Live as Reed streamed the incident while being chased by police.
One officer faced backlash after he was heard on the livestream saying, “I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie.”
“Let me be clear, these comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of our police department,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor told reporters, according to The Associated Press.
After the shooting of Rose, Taylor suspected that the two incidents on that day may be related, Wish reported. The chief said Rose may have fired at officers to get revenge for Reed.
Following Rose's killing, a Change.org petition was circulated on social media in hopes of having the officers involved identified, fired, and charged, as well as a few other accountability line items.
— Valentina???? (@v_delva) July 5, 2020
According to The Associated Press, demonstrators took to the streets in May to demand justice for Rose and Reed, as well as a white pregnant pedestrian who died when an officer driving to work struck her with his vehicle.