Handcuffed suspect turns away from officer during search and pulls gun

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer shows tremendous restraint and skill in close encounter with armed suspect.

Just before 10:30 p.m. on 11/11/2017, Officer C. Portell was on patrol when he saw a Chevy Trailblazer with a license plate light out in the 1000 block of E Washington Street. Officer Portell got behind the vehicle and turned on his emergency equipment and stopped the vehicle at the entrance ramp for I-65 South at E Washington St.

After approaching the driver, later identified as 29-year-old Dajuan Morris, Officer Portell smelled the odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officer Portell requested backup and then asked Mr. Morris to step out of the vehicle. Mr. Morris did so and Officer Portell handcuffed him. Officer Portell noted that two sets of handcuffs needed to be used due to Morris’ size and stature. While checking Mr. Morris, Officer Portell located a small amount of marijuana in Mr. Morris’ front pocket. Moments later, Morris began blading the left side of his body away from Officer Portell.

Officer Portell gave verbal commands for Morris to turn around and began to physically turn him. Mr. Morris continued to blade his body away from Officer Portell. Officer Portell was then able to push Mr. Morris into the side of the vehicle, trapping his body, allowing Officer Portell to get behind him. It was at that time Officer Portell saw that the suspect was allegedly holding a revolver and that the revolver was pointed right at him. Officer Portell was able to react quickly and get the gun away, along with a soft eyeglass case that was allegedly in Morris’ hand. Additional officers then arrived on-scene and were able to get Morris seated behind the vehicle.

During the search, officers recovered suspected marijuana, heroin, the firearm, and over $600 in cash. Morris was arrested and preliminarily charged with dealing narcotics while in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, possession of narcotics with a firearm, carrying a handgun without a license with a prior felony conviction, pointing a firearm, possession of marijuana, and driving while suspended – prior. Morris was later transported to the City County Building for booking. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will review the case and make a charging decision.