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'We're better together': Peaceful protests urged after grand jury decision in Dreasjon Reed case

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 17:37:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Community leaders are urging people who continue to protest after a grand jury didn't indict the officer who fatally shot Dreasjon Reed to remain peaceful.

Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili, Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee Chairman Leroy Robinson, and community leaders held a press conference ahead of more anticipated protests.

Eastern Star Church Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson says he believes in peaceful and non-violent protests can make a difference.

"But we have to do everything in a non-violent and non-destructive way because then if we're not careful, people start to use that to change the narrative," Johnson said.

Osili announced a new series of virtual conversations to continue the dialogue between community members, partners, and the council to share their stories and concerns.

More details will be announced in the coming days, Osili said.

"The divisions in our community are real," Osili said. "But we cannot let that be the end of the story. We must acknowledge that many members of our community, including law enforcement, feel distrusted, misunderstood, and devalued by those they see as being on the other side. We must find a way to stand together on the same side."

Robinson said while the city has some very difficult days ahead, he hopes any more protests remain peaceful.

"Please do know we expect protests to continue as they did last night, peacefully," Robinson said. "Peaceful demonstrations are always welcomed and encouraged in our democracy."

The number of homicides this year in Indianapolis is unacceptable, DeAndra Dycus, founder of Purpose 4 My Pain, said. She is encouraging people to find their purpose and passion to help make a change in the city.

"It's time to move motivation into transformation," Dycus said. "We're better together."

Patrice Duckett, who works for the Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center, reminded community members the center is offering help, space, and a voice for those who need it.

"We hear you, we see you," Duckett said.

On Tuesday, Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury announced a grand jury had declined to indict the officer who shot and killed Reed.

PREVIOUS | Grand jury declines to indict IMPD officer in fatal Dreasjon Reed police shooting | Dreasjon Reed: The evidence Indiana State Police uncovered about the shooting

Later in the evening, a gathering was organized downtown to create a space for grieving community members.

PREVIOUS | Family & community reacts to grand jury decision in Dreasjon Reed case