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'We're just trying to get answers': Fatal IMPD shooting captured on Facebook Live

There was a power vacuum on Michigan Road the night of May 6 as hundreds took to the streets to protest the police shooting that led to the death of Dreasjon "Sean" Reed.

One woman wanted everyone to form a single file line along the crime tape set up by police.

"If we don't have order, they won't respect us!" she said. "They won't listen!"

Kwame Shakur, deputy chairman of the New African Black Panther Party, showed up with a megaphone and led the protestors in chants of "All power to the people" and "F*** 12."

Others came, grabbed the megaphone, stated their peace, belted out the rallying cries.

They were infuriated by another Black man killed by police.

Approximately 15 minutes after unmarked police cars started to pursue Reed on I-65 because, according to police, he was driving recklessly, an officer shot Reed during a

foot chase. Reed died at the scene.

IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said during a brief update at the scene that police believed "shots were fired by both the officer and the suspect."

"There is a gun near the suspect that does not belong to the officer," Bailey said, adding that the officer was also a Black man.

Bailey said in a briefing May 7 an initial investigation indicated shots were fired from both Reed's gun and the officer's gun.

Family identified Reed to media at the scene before police released his identity.

Captured on Facebook Live

Many of the people who showed up to protest the shooting witnessed it in real time because Reed captured it on Facebook Live — everything from the chase to the shooting.

"Did I lose his a**?" Reed says while driving shirtless, apparently referring to the police chase. "Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! You not finna catch me! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! I'm going to jail today, no sir!"

Shortly after, Reed says he's parking on 62nd Street and Michigan Road.

"Somebody come get my stupid a**!" he says. "Please come get me!"

"I just parked this m***********, I'm gone," he says as he gets out of the car.

The video then becomes less clear as he appears to start running.

Reed appears to answer someone who can't be heard on the video.

"What'd you say?"

Shortly after, there appears to be a taser deployed, and Reed falls to the ground with his phone facing the sky. (Bailey said during a May 7 briefing the taser didn't appear to be effective.)

That's when about 15 shots ring out, with the last two coming a couple of seconds after the initial barrage.

You can hear an officer call in a police-action shooting. The audio cuts out for a few seconds.

"Oh my god," a man repeats.

The sound of sirens starts building in the background.

Another recording of the aftermath of the shooting appears to capture a conversation between officers.

"I think it's going to be a closed casket, homie," a man says.

Chief Taylor said during the May 7 briefing the comment was made by a detective who wasn't there at the time of the shooting. He called it "unacceptable" and said the department is looking at disciplinary actions.

Hours later, as the sun was setting, a woman who said Reed was her nephew spoke through tears on the megaphone.

"Just be peaceful," she said. "We're just trying to get answers."

Ron Gee, from Indy Cease Fire, had the megaphone for a time.

"They trynna kill us," he said, "and they don't want us to do nothin' about it."

Toby Miller, director of the Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network, was on the other side of the crime tape and told a group of protestors he was trying to get the police — which at that point included some in riot gear — to stand down in order to deescalate the situation.

Northwest District Commander Lorenzo Lewis was there in street clothes and told a woman he just didn't want anyone to get hurt at the scene.

"It's easy to say that when they've already hurt thousands of us," she said.

The timeline

According to police, IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams was traveling northbound on I-65 in an unmarked car at 6 p.m. when he saw a vehicle driving recklessly on the interstate near 30th Street. Police said the vehicle was traveling close to 90 miles per hour and almost hit other vehicles when it exited.

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor was driving in an unmarked car behind Adams. Both pursued until marked cars arrived.

At 6:10 p.m., supervisors from the Northwest District called off the pursuit near 56th Street and Lafayette Road because the driver was being too reckless to safely chase, police said.

According to police, the driver parked his car behind a business on Michigan Road. An officer saw the car at about 6:15 p.m. and got out of his vehicle, at which point the man took off on foot.

Bailey said police were aware of the Facebook Live video and preserved the evidence.

The officer who fired the shots is on administrative leave, Bailey said, which is standard for this situation.

The incident is under investigation.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

"They trynna kill us," he said, "and they don't want us to do nothin' about it."

Ron Gee, from Indy Cease Fire


Reed family, attorneys speak nearly a week after Dreasjon Reed's death

Dreasjon "Sean" Reed's mother and father spoke to media and community members May 12 in a grassy area by the Michigan Road library, near where Reed was killed in a police shooting six days earlier.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor spoke publicly with Reed's father, Jamie Reed, and sister May 7, but this was the first time Reed's mother, Demetree Wynn, had spoken publicly.

"This is still crazy to me," Jamie said at a podium a few feet in front of a makeshift

memorial for Reed. "I just can't picture why this happened. It just hurts so bad. I'm just kinda really tired of thinking about it."

Wynn called her son a "lovable, silly child" who, at 21 years old, was still growing into a man.

"If you knew my son, you loved my son," she said.

Swaray Conteh and Fatima Johnson, attorneys from The Law Office of Fatima Johnson who are representing the family, said they have filed a notice for the city to preserve evidence from the case but aren't ready yet to go to court.

"We are not in a rush," said Conteh, the lead attorney. "We're going to take our time and gather all information that we can."

The attorneys said they are seeking answers about Reed's death, which was captured on Facebook Live and almost immediately drew a large crowd to the scene at 62nd Street and Michigan Road.

That's in addition to the ongoing investigation by IMPD, which is being overseen by federal law enforcement at the request of Mayor Joe Hogsett.

"I know what everyone probably wants me to say and wants to hear is that we trust the police," Johnson said in an interview after the press conference, "and it's just not something we can say at this point."

Speaking to the crowd, Johnson said they have a right to demand answers about what happened to Reed.

"We are resilient people," she said, "but resilience has its limits. We are strong people, but strength has its limits. We go through this again and again and again. Wash, rinse, repeat."

Many who gathered at the press conference had signs demanding justice for Reed. One group of people wore red T-shirts that said "Justice for Dreasjon," and Wynn told them as she left the podium to not wear the shirts anymore.

"Take him off those T-shirts," she said. "He is not a T-shirt. If you're gonna do anything, say his name."

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.


Community rallying for answers with little trust in police

Police say there was a gun lying next to the body of Dreasjon "Sean" Reed, who an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer fatally shot May 6.

The gun was loaded and had been fired, police say, before the officer shot dead the 21-year-old Reed, who captured the incident — including a police chase and foot pursuit — on Facebook Live.

Plenty of skeptics in the African American community aren't buying that.

"They gonna always say we got a gun," Terrance Hood belted through a megaphone May 7 outside of the city-county building.

Hood, CEO of HOOD2HOOD, was one of many speakers who addressed the crowd full of signs and face coverings.

Whenever you get pulled over, Hood said, stream it for evidence.

The crowd gathered on the street between the city-county building and Indianapolis City Market on East Market Street. For a second straight day, they were demanding answers about what led to Reed's death.

It appeared to be roughly

the same size crowd that showed up at Michigan Road and 62nd Street — where the shooting happened — the previous night after the video of Reed's death spread quickly on social media.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, word spread on social media that Reed was unarmed. He appeared to flee on foot after parking his car behind a business, but the video is too shaky to make out any details.

Reed eventually falls to the ground with his phone landing face up, and then roughly 15 shots ring out.

Did they all come from the officer?

IMPD says no.

Many will not be convinced by a police account of events, though.

IMPD has been touting its gradual return to a beat policing system, which is supposed to help officers and the community become better acquainted. IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said during an update May 7 police officers care about the people they serve.

These aren't new messages from IMPD or any number of police departments around the country, but little has changed in the way of police relationships with African American communities.

Even when some of the organizers who've been leading these protests disagree about what exactly their methods and goals should be, distrust for police seems to be one of the reliable feelings to pull everyone together.

Erica Bailey, the daughter of Aaron Bailey, who was killed by Indianapolis police in 2017, took the stage and encouraged everyone to keep up what they've been doing.

"Y'all come out, and y'all fight, and y'all don't give up," she said through tears.

When someone tried reading an update that police gave shortly before the protest, not many were able to hear what was said because enough people started booing and chanting to drown out the noise.

Shane Shepherd, founder of B4U Fall, told everyone it's OK that some people have differences in opinion right now.

Look up to those windows in the city-county building, he told the crowd, and flip off anyone looking down.

Everyone raised a middle finger.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.


Marion County to begin reopening May 15

Marion County will begin to slowly reopen starting May 15, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced in a press conference May 13.

Hogsett said the county will begin "partially" moving into Phase II of the reopening plan, which will allow gatherings of up to 25 people, including at churches.

Hogsett said churches can still have "drive-in" services.

Non-essential retail outlets, including shopping malls, will be able to operate at 50% capacity.

Starting Memorial Day weekend — May 22 — restaurants can begin allowing dine-in services only with outside seating. Employees will be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Hogsett announced an initiative to help local restaurants expand their outside seating, and the city government is working to create a stockpile of PPE, which will be free of charge for Marion County residents.

Learn more about dining at indy.gov/dineout.

Hogsett also announced the creation of a $5 million grant to reimburse local businesses for PPE expenses up to $5,000. Learn more about the program at response.indychamber.com/restart.

To help Marion County residents understand the reopening process, Paul Babock, director of the Office of Public Health and Safety, announced the Safe Start to Summer campaign.

Hair and nail salons, as well as non-essential manufacturing and industrial work, are targeted to reopen June 1. Also starting June 1, restaurants with indoor seating are expected to be able to reopen at 50% capacity. Hogsett said these restrictions are based on the analysis of data and working to prevent a second wave from occurring.

Bars, theaters, museums, gyms and other establishments will open in future phases and don't yet have target phases.

Most of Indiana is ahead of Marion County in reopening, and Hogsett has said the county's reopening phases will basically mirror what

Gov. Eric Holcomb has laid out for the rest of the state.

Hogsett said the city is not providing target dates for when to move to future phases.

If numbers such as hospitalizations begin to rise again, Hogsett said, "we'll have to make adjustments accordingly."

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, said current data shows a decrease in positive test results, COVID-19-related hospitalizations and mortality. Caine praised an increase in testing, but urged that contact tracing is necessary to ensure Marion County can flatten the curve.

"Social distancing is critical, and it's working," Caine said. "... We have to be vigilant, we can't ease up on these restrictions."

Caine urged Marion County residents to continue to wear PPE and frequently wash their hands.

While Hogsett acknowledged some in the county think he is moving too slowly in the reopening process, Caine reminded county residents that failing to practice social distancing could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, which could lead the county to have to revert to the first phase of the reopening process.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick. Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.