By J. Chess
In an unfortunate incident that took place on Indy’s near east side, an Indianapolis man, who was previously convicted for murder, was shot and killed by the Indianapolis Metropolitan police Department (IMPD). The man, identified as 48-year-old Raphael Dekemper, has become the first casualty in a police-involved shooting in the city in 2024.
Details of the Incident
The fatal encounter occurred near Rural and Brookside Parkway North Drive following a traffic stop. Dekemper, stepping out of the passenger side of a vehicle around 5.30 pm on Thursday, allegedly fired at the police officers, who returned fire, leading to his demise. According to IMPD, a handgun was found near the suspect, and the squad car that was hit by bullets was captured in pictures shared by the department.
Reactions to the Incident
Rev. David Greene, a member of the Concerned Clergy, who has been critical of IMPD in the past, admitted that the use of force in this case appears justified. He stated, “We want our police officers to go home safely. We don’t expect police to take fire and not fire back. They should fire back.”
Raphael Dekemper: A Closer Look
Raphael Dekemper was no stranger to the law. Court records reveal that he was convicted of murder in Marion County in 1997 and, after serving two decades behind bars, was released in 2017. Earlier this month, Dekemper was alleged to have violated a protective order and fired shots at a home on Bolton Avenue, which led to the issuance of an arrest warrant against him.
IMPD’s Response and Future Outlook
IMPD acting chief, Chris Bailey, commended the officers’ action, stating that the department is focused on reducing violence in the community. While the department noted that only a tiny fraction of their operations last year resulted in police shootings, they are finalizing a plan to engage an external group to review the rise in officer-involved shootings from last year.
In the aftermath of the shooting, no officers were reported injured. The IMPD Critical Incident Response Team was dispatched to conduct a criminal investigation, while IMPD Internal Affairs is carrying out an independent administrative investigation. Assistance was also provided to officers and detectives by the IMPD Victims Assistance unit and the Police Officer Support Team (POST).
Individuals with relevant information are encouraged to contact Detective Dustin Keedy at the homicide office or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously.