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Special prosecutor requested to take on officer-involved shooting death of Dreasjon Reed

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Posted at 1:33 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 13:45:33-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has requested that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Attorney's Office to monitor the investigation into the two police action shoots in Indianapolis this week.

“Over two challenging days, Indianapolis has experienced tragic situations and the understandable frustrations of a community seeking answers. Although my thoughts continue to be with all those impacted by these mournful moments, I also recognize that the actions of city leaders will speak far louder than words at a time when our streets are filled with passionate voices seeking change," Hogsett said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

The two shootings occurred within a roughly 8-hour period on May 6 and May 7.

READ | Man killed by IMPD was live-streaming chase, moments leading up to shooting

Dreasjon Reed, 21, was shot and killed after he led police on a chase and then fled his vehicle, allegedly pointing a firearm at police before gunshots were exchanged. Reed's shooting death sparked outrage in the community and led to more than 12 hours of protests in downtown Indy and at the site of the shooting the following day. Reed was streaming on Facebook live during most of the incident and the shooting that followed.

McHale Rose, 19, was shot and killed by officers after he allegedly pointed a rifle at them while they were responding to a burglary call around 1:30 a.m. May 7. IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said investigators believe Rose may have called in the burglary to stage an ambsh on police.

READ | Man killed by IMPD may have been planning police ambush

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears also announced Friday that he had filed a motion to request that the court appoint an independent prosecutor for the investigation and potential prosecution in Reed's officer-involved shooting death.

"According to the request filed with the Court, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office believes an independent prosecutor is important to avoid the appearance of impropriety in this matter," a statement issued by the Prosecutor's Office Friday afternoon reads. "Specifically, Prosecutor Mears said he believes Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor’s role as a material witness in the investigation constitutes a conflict of interest for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office."

“We believe it is important that an independent prosecutor enter the process now to ensure that they can provide an outside review throughout the investigation,” Mears added.

“Many people in our community are experiencing pain as a result of what happened and the historic issues this brings up. As a community it is critically important that we take steps to ensure that we all appreciate the root cause of this pain, commit to bringing equity to the criminal justice system, and help heal these divisions,” Mears said. “The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to listen, have difficult conversations, and take action to make Marion County a more fair and safe place. Fairness, truth, and public trust are critical to the pursuit of justice.”

You can read the full statement from Mayor Joe Hogsett below.

“Over two challenging days, Indianapolis has experienced tragic situations and the understandable frustrations of a community seeking answers. Although my thoughts continue to be with all those impacted by these mournful moments, I also recognize that the actions of city leaders will speak far louder than words at a time when our streets are filled with passionate voices seeking change.

While I continue to have confidence in Chief Randal Taylor and IMPD’s ability to carry out fair and thorough investigations, it is clear to me that more must be done to provide community confidence in the outcome of those processes. That is why this morning, I contacted the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and requested that they actively monitor the investigation of the two police action shootings that occurred this week.

Through this monitoring, in conjunction with an ongoing investigation by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, we reaffirm our commitment to a transparent criminal and civil review of these incidents and the conduct of those officers involved. Importantly, it is my hope that our city may also reaffirm its dedication to channeling the sadness and anger felt by so many into displays of peaceful protest.”