Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is looking into a fatal officer-involved shooting.
According to the department, the shooting occurred just after 6:15 p.m. in the area of West 62nd Street and North Michigan Road.
Releasing the timeline of events leading up to the shooting, police stated that IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and Deputy Chief Kendale Adams were on Interstate 65 heading home when they spotted a car driving erratically. They immediately pursued the vehicle, which reached speeds of over 90 mph. Taylor and Adams pulled off the pursuit once marked cars showed up, per protocol.
According to radio traffic, the vehicle drove into the area of West 41st Street and Guion Road, with officers finally terminating the chase after 10 minutes in the area of West 56th Street and Lafayette Road.
According to the department, another officer spotted the suspect’s car shortly after in a parking lot at 62nd Street and Michigan Road. The driver got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, prompting the officer to chase after him.
The department stated that there was an altercation during the foot chase, and that the officer deployed his stun gun on the man, but it is unclear whether it was effective.
The suspect reportedly shot at the officer, who returned fire, killing the man.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as 21-year-old Dreasjon Reed by the coroner's office. According to family members, he went by the name Sean Reed, and was a Lawrence North High School graduate who had served in the Air Force.
The officer involved in the shooting did not sustain any injuries.
The officer and suspect, both African American, were the only ones present at the scene when the shooting occurred, and investigators recovered a gun near the man that didn’t belong to the officer, an IMPD spokesperson said.
Chief Taylor stated at a press conference that he was aware of social media comments claiming that the gun may not have been the suspect's. He stated that the investigation shows it is "reasonable to believe" that the gun was Reed’s.
He stated that the weapon seemed to match the one the suspect had posed with on social media posts. Taylor could not confirm whether the gun had been stolen or was legally obtained.
Taylor revealed that the gun was loaded and that there was evidence indicating that it had been fired twice during the incident.
In a statement addressing the incident, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said:
“Last night, our city experienced a series of tragedies that raise understandable questions and once again reveal the scars of mistrust left behind by a national legacy of discrimination against communities of color.
As these incidents are investigated and reviewed by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, we are committed to ensuring that these processes are transparent and that information is released as it becomes available."
Reed had been live-streaming the chase on Facebook, capturing the moment he got out of the car, the chase, and the shots fired.
The live stream went on for several minutes following the shooting, until police stopped the video. The post with the live stream was deleted from his page, but it is unclear when or who removed it.
A department spokesperson stated that investigators were aware of the Facebook video and "the officers and detectives have done their due diligence in preserving that evidence through the proper legal channels."
"If it's associated and there’s information on there that's appropriate for the investigation, they will use it," the spokesperson said.
An officer was caught on the video making inappropriate comments about Reed following the shooting. Taylor revealed that he was aware of the comments and called them "unacceptable and unbecoming of police department."
Taylor clarified that the officer who made the comments only showed up after the shooting, and was not involved in the shooting.
Addressing the shooting and the video, the Greater Indianapolis NAACP released a statement saying:
“We’re aware of some facts from the Facebook Live video. However, the NAACP will monitor and review additional facts as the investigations proceed and then determine whether it warrants any actions by our organization.
“We ask the community to allow the process to proceed, as we monitor the various investigative units that will uncover the facts. If you believe you have relevant information, we ask you to provide it to investigators.”
The organization discouraged people from gathering in large groups to protest, citing the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on African American communities.
The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) is calling for an independent investigation into the shooting: "We believe an independent and external investigation is required to determine what happened in this police action shooting, especially whether the civil rights of Dreasjon Reed were violated."
Taylor stated that he had no reason to believe that the officer involved in the shooting did not act appropriately. However, he doesn’t want to rush into making judgments, and is willing to wait for the investigation to determine whether the shooting was justified or not.
As per department policy, the officer involved was placed on administrative leave.
Sources: 13 WTHR