A tragedy occurred this week that seems to have escaped the mainstream media news cycle. On Sunday, Indianapolis police shot and killed an unarmed black teen suspected of a carjacking. The teen has been identified as 15-year-old Andre Green. Authorities stated that Green was shot when he “drove a vehicle” at officers. Green’s death makes him the youngest person killed by police this year since the death of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.
According to family and friends, Green had frequent encounters with law enforcement in the past and had a troubled childhood. At the age of 4, Green was discovered with baggies of crack cocaine that he had brought to preschool to show his friends. The resulting discovery of the drugs, valued at $7,500, led to a raid on his home. His parents Kenneth Green and Andrea Jackson, were arrested when police discovered more cocaine, marijuana, an assault rifle and a bulletproof vest. Andre and a sibling were placed in state foster care briefly after the arrest, which received national attention. These events had to have impacted the young boy severely. Green attempted suicide at 13 by taking an overdose of pills. He was well known to police for stealing a car and frequent juvenile court appearances.
Assistant Police Chief Lloyd Crowe used Green’s troubled past and a discovery of a gun in the car in an attempt to blame the teen. Crowe stated at a press conference, “Not only did this young man have the propensity to use a firearm, but he also had the car to use as a weapon. … There were demonstrations from his social media and other things that led us to believe this young man was going down the wrong path.”
However, witnesses stated that Green never handled the gun or had it under his control. The gun was not discovered until after Green was killed by police. Furthermore, an eyewitness to the shooting identified as Allon Eaton, 25, stated that Green did not drive his car at the police and only slightly backed up and bumped a police vehicle. It was then, according to Eaton, that Green exited the vehicle and was immediately shot by police. Other occupants in the car ran into a nearby apartment complex. Eaton was on a nearby corner observing the event.
“He wasn’t a threat. They said my son was armed, but I don’t know about that. All I want to know is the truth, what happened to my son, if he was right or wrong,” said Green’s father.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave.