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Two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Dreasjon Reed identified

Dreasjon Reed.JPG
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 20:21:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has identified the officer accused of shooting Dreasjon Reed and the officer accused of making a comment about a "closed casket" following his death.

IMPD Chief Randall Taylor identified the officer who fired his weapon at Reed as Dejoure Mercer. Officer Mercer has four years of service with IMPD.

Taylor also identified the officer who was disciplined following comments about a "closed casket" that were caught on video after Reed was shot. Officer Steven Scott was reassigned and received a suspension for the comments. Scott has 15 years of service with IMPD.

IMPD released the information Thursday afternoon along with the following statement: "For the last twelve days, IMPD has listened as our community advocated for change. As a result, IMPD is working to formalize a policy that outlines when and how officers involved in critical incidents should be identified to the public. This new policy will solidify IMPD’s practice of conducting a threat assessment following a critical incident to ensure officer safety and require additional assessments, if necessary, in order to ensure information is provided the public as soon as is reasonable. After any critical incident, the IMPD Intelligence Unit conducts an assessment of threats toward any officer-involved, which includes an analysis of social media, community, and law enforcement information."

Reed's family held a press conference last week calling for an independent investigation, release of Marion County Coroner's report and the names of the officers involved in both the shooting and the recorded comments made after Reed's death.

The 21-year-old was shot following a police pursuit on the city's north side. After he got out of the car, police said Reed tried to run away. They allege he fired a gun as he ran so police responded by tasing him first then shooting. Family members argue they have evidence that suggests Reed did not point a weapon at officers, although they have not shared that evidence at this time.

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.

After the gunfire ended, one officer can be heard making a comment at the scene that appeared to include the words: "It's going to be a closed casket, homie," before the video live stream was stopped by a detective at the scene.

READ | Family of Dreasjon Reed calls for open investigation

“As Chief of Police, my responsibility is to protect the safety of all in our city, including our IMPD officers. With that in mind, I am following up on my commitment to be transparent with the community we serve,” said Chief Randal Taylor. The disclosure policy will be made available to the public when it is finalized and approved.