IMPD’s Homicide Unit and Internal Affairs Unit are investigating an undercover narcotics operation that left one man dead. Jeffrey Lilly Jr., 22, was pronounced dead on scene in the 2200 block of Station Street on the near east side Thursday night.
Undercover narcotics detectives said they bought two rocks of crack cocaine from Lilly at around 8 p.m.. He ran off after seeing police.
Officers chased the man down, and shocked him with a stun gun when he resisted arrest.
Lilly was taken into custody, but by then, was unresponsive. Police believe he may have swallowed drugs during the incident.
Lilly’s death drew a chaotic crowd within hours. Family members and the community began throwing chairs, cursing and making threats to police, claiming officers had beaten Lilly to death.
“They took his life away at the age of 22,” said Joshua Lilly, Jeffrey’s brother. “(They) kicked him in the face and his head fell on the bricks.”
The Marion County Coroner’s Office said it appeared Lilly had no blunt force injuries to his body. Officials also recovered a baggie in his airway. The bag appeared to be punctured and empty of contents.
“It is not uncommon for drug dealers to attempt to conceal drugs by placing them in their mouths and sometimes swallowing them,” said an IMPD detective in a statement that issued Friday afternoon.
The Coroner’s Office is waiting on the toxicology report before ruling a cause of death. It’s expected to take approximately six weeks.
The IMPD officers involved in the incident are on paid administrative leave, which is standard department policy after these types of incidents.