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Family of Dreasjon Reed files lawsuit against IMPD for 'excessive force' & 'wrongful death'

Dreasjon Reed.JPG
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 10:58:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The family of Dreasjon Reed, the 21-year-old shot and killed following a pursuit with IMPD last month, has filed a lawsuit against IMPD and the City of Indianapolis for "excessive force" and "wrongful death."

The lawsuit claims IMPD and the City of Indianapolis failed to properly train and supervise officers on the use of excessive force, which eventually led to Reed's death.

The lawsuit was filed on June 16, which would have been Reed's 22nd birthday.

READ | Two officers involved in fatal shooting of Dreasjon Reed identified

Reed was shot following a police pursuit on May 6 on Indianapolis' north side. Officers allege that after Reed pulled over behind a business he tried to run and the responding officer, identified as Dejoure Mercer, deployed a taser, striking him. IMPD reports allege that after being struck with the taser, Reed fired and Officer Mercer returned fire, striking him multiple times.

Reed was streaming live on Facebook as he led police on a chase. The stream continued when Reed exited his vehicle near 62nd Street and Michigan Road and confronted officers. Police say gunfire was exchanged and several shots could be heard over the live stream, which did not capture any video of the actual shooting.

Family members have argued that evidence suggests that Reed did not point a weapon at officers, although that evidence has not been shared.

According to the lawsuit, Reed exited his vehicle behind ACE Lock & Key and could be seen on video carrying a white T-shirt in his left and two cell phones in his right hand.

READ | Family of Dreasjon Reed calls for open investigation | Dreason Reed remembered as celebration of life

"Seconds after Reed exited his vehicle and began to run, Officer Mercer deployed his ECD and struck Reed. Reed immediately fell on the ground and began to convulse. Officer Mercer immediately began firing multiple shots at Reed with his firearm. Reed died instantly," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also claims that Officer Mercer never commanded Reed to drop a weapon or warned Reed that he was going to shoot. It also claims none of the officers involved did anything to intervene or prevent the shooting.

The lawsuit also names Officer Steven Scott, who has been identified as making the "closed casket" remark that was captured on video following Reed's shooting death.

The lawsuit claims, "few minutes after the gruesome shooting death of Reed, Officer Scott was overheard saying, with callous disregard for the life of Reed and feelings of Wynn, “looks like it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” referring to Reed’s mutilated corpse."

The family is suing Officer Mercer, Officer Scott, IMPD, The City of Indianapolis, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams.

Chief Taylor and Deputy Chief Adams were both involved in the initial pursuit of Reed's vehicle after they claim they witnessed him "driving recklessly" and called for backup.

Reed's family is seeking answers and compensation for damages as part of their lawsuit.

You can read the full lawsuit filed in the US District Court of Southern Indiana below.