INDIANAPOLIS – A federal judge has removed the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from a wrongful death lawsuit related to the police shooting of Dreasjon Reed, ruling that IMPD is not a suable entity in this context.
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 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.
The lawsuit, filed about a month after Reed’s fatal shooting, initially named Mercer, IMPD, The City of Indianapolis, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor, IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams, and another officer. The other officer made a comment about needing a “closed casket" that was captured on video after the shooting.
Taylor and Adams were both involved in the initial pursuit of Reed's vehicle after they claim they witnessed him "driving recklessly" and called for backup.
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson dismissed claims against IMPD, Taylor, Adams and the other officer. The following claims remain on the lawsuit:
- Claim for excessive force against Mercer individually and against the City
- Claim for failure to train against the city
- Wrongful death claim against the city, Taylor, and Adams
- Battery claim against Mercer and the city
- Claim for denial of medical care against Officer Mercer.