Drunk driving cop? Fatal crash in Indianapolis raises questions.
The officer struck and killed a pedestrian with his cruiser on Thursday night, and a police supervisor on the scene said his breath smelled of alcohol. Two other local officers were arrested this month after being suspected of driving under the influence.
A police officer is suspected of driving drunk after he struck and killed a pedestrian with his cruiser late Thursday night, according to Indianapolis police.
After striking the man just before midnight, the off-duty officer got out of his car and performed chest compressions, but was unable to resuscitate the victim, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
A police supervisor at the scene reported that he could smell alcohol on the officer's breath, according to spokesman Lt. Richard Riddle.
Prior to the accident, officers were already headed to the scene because of reports of a man, now believed to be the victim, walking down the middle of the road, according to the department spokesman. The victim’s identity has not been released.
The off-duty officer underwent blood testing at a nearby hospital, and results may be available Friday afternoon. The seven-year veteran has not been identified.
The officer’s whereabouts prior to the accident are unknown, Lieutenant Riddle said, adding that police were waiting on a search warrant for his vehicle. A member of the Marion County prosecutor's office visited the scene.
According to the police department, the officer could face administrative discipline if tests show any presence of alcohol, regardless of the legal limit, because Indianapolis officers are forbidden from drinking while operating a police car.
This incident may feel like déjà vu to some locals. In recent years, a spate of officers being convicted of driving under the influence has plagued the Indianapolis police department. According to the IndyStar:
At least two other area law enforcement officers have been arrested this month on suspicion of drunken driving.
Daniel Greenwell, a 36-year-old IMPD officer with the East District, faces two counts of operating while intoxicated after he was arrested early Sunday morning.
Andrew Ryan, the assistant police chief at Butler University, was arrested on Sept. 5 after his car collided with another. A breath test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.27, a police report said.
In 2010, former Indianapolis police officer David Bisard was found guilty of nine counts of drunken driving, reckless homicide and criminal recklessness for driving his patrol car into a group of motorcyclists while responding to a nonemergency call.
Riddle said no preferential treatment would be given to the officer.
"Obviously there were questions after [Mr.] Bisard, and we are doing everything by policy in this incident to show that no officer is above the law," he told the Associated Press.
This report contains material from the Associated Press.