(VIDEOS) Grand Jury: No Charges for IMPD Officer in Dreasjon Reed Shooting, BLM Riots Get Rained Out
Indianapolis, Indiana – In a press conference held by the Indiana State Police On Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury, from the Madison County, Indiana prosecutors office announced that the grand jury hearing evidence in the case involving Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer Dejoure Mercer filed a “no bill” on the case, meaning no charges will be brought against Mercer due to there not being sufficient evidence to charge the officer with a crime according to the grand jury made up of Marion County residents, the county where the incident occurred.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, whose agency was in charge of the initial investigation as an independent investigator stated “please understand that our role was the objective finder of fact. We didn’t pick a side, we would never pick a side,” Carter went on to explain that the agency invested hundreds of hours investigating the case, focusing on the facts of the case and the evidence at hand.
Special prosecutor Khoury addressed the gathered media stating that the case has been “a very heavy burden,” as she initially fought back tears as she presented details on the taxing case that has caught the attention of the national media drew to a close with the announcement that no charges would be filed against officer Mercer in the case.
The shooting of Reed occurred May 6th, 2020 at approximately 6 p.m.after a chase was initiated by in interstate 65 outside of the downtown area by the 30th street exit by IMPD police Chief Randall Taylor and Deputy Chief Kendale Adams who spotted Reed driving recklessly. Both Adams and Taylor discontinued their role in the pursuit once they were joined by marked IMPD units who took over the initial pursuit, which continued on to surface streets and was live-streamed by Reed during the pursuit where Reed was actively communicating with several people making comments on his live stream, at one point stating that he would rather shoot it out with the police than go to jail.
The pursuit, which would ultimately terminate at 62nd street and Michigan Road, where Reed would then pull behind a building, bailing from the vehicle on foot, chased by Mercer. Who also tried ineffectively to use nonlethal force in the encounter with a taser strike being ineffective before resorting to deadly force. Although the facts of the case are sealed under Indiana state law, the live stream posted to Facebook does clearly show Reed in possession of a firearm and audio appears to detail a gun battle in which more than one weapon is being fired.
Despite the evidence already in the public domain from Reed’s Livestream and other posts from his social media account showing Reed using the same firearm to fire indiscriminately into houses from a vehicle, public unrest followed in Indianapolis, as national attention focused on the city, which was to soon be overshadowed by the death of George Floyd just a few weeks later in Minneapolis.
Much of the public outcry centered on a comment made by an attending detective in the live stream that continued to record for over an hour as officers and detectives converged on the scene as a detective remarked “gonna need a closed casket on this one homie,” for which the detective, Steve Scott, was suspended for by IMPD.
“Let me be clear. These comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of our police department,” Chief Taylor said regarding Scott’s comment.
In a statement made after the press conference, IMPD said:
“We are grateful to Prosecutor Khoury, Indiana State Police Superintendent Carter, and all the troopers who participated in this investigation, as well as the citizens who served on the grand jury for ensuring a fair and just investigative process and a transparent outcome.
We also extend our thanks to Indianapolis residents for awaiting the conclusion of this lengthy and intensive process alongside us. We understand that this result may be frustrating for some of our residents, but it is our hope that the full transparency offered by Prosecutor Khoury and Superintendent Carter will help to move our city forward, improve the relationship between our officers and neighborhoods, and bring us closer to healing the division in our community. We look forward to continuing a productive dialogue with our residents and building the types of partnerships with our neighborhoods that prevent violence.”
After the verdict on Tuesday, several dozen people gathered downtown at University Park to decry the special prosecutor assigned to the investigation and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Protestors stating that the city needs to dismantle and rebuild the local criminal justice system. Indy Black Lives Matter has demanded IMPD fire Mercer from the department and he is charged with a crime for Reed’s death regardless of the facts or the grad jury verdict not to charge the officer.
The group that gathered Tuesday night began a short march north on Meridian Street before stopping near the 12th Street intersection, as a rain downpour began chanting the familiar catch cry of similar protests that allude to ongoing unrest until protesters get what they demand, chanting “no justice, no peace.”
IMPD officers on bikes and in patrol cars could be seen throughout downtown. Some businesses boarded up their storefronts after being warned the grand jury decision would happen this week.
Response from some city officials and politicians, regardless of the verdict being in favor of the officer who defended himself from a lethal attack, still remain critical of IMPD.
The Reed family filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this year against the city, Mercer and IMPD’s Deputy Chief Kendale Adams and Chief Randal Taylor, with a federal judge removing the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from the lawsuit while continuing the case against the city and the individuals in the case.
The group appears to be dispersing near the Indianapolis Public Library.— Lawrence Andrea (@lawrencegandrea) November 11, 2020
They said earlier that they’ll be out again tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/cdhdOOrQlo