June 10, 2020

IMPD Identifies Officer Who Shot Dreasjon Reed

A memorial to Dreasjon "Sean" Reed near the spot he was shot and killed on May 6. On Wednesday, Indianapolis police identified the officers involved. - Eric Weddle/WFYI

A memorial to Dreasjon "Sean" Reed near the spot he was shot and killed on May 6. On Wednesday, Indianapolis police identified the officers involved.

Eric Weddle/WFYI

Updated June 10 at 5:30 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis police on Wednesday released the name of an officer who fatally shot a black man a week after being honored by the department and the name of an officer disciplined for an inappropriate comment at the scene of the shooting.

The officer who shot Dreasjon “Sean” Reed on May 6 was four-year veteran Dejoure Mercer, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said. Mercer was named the Northwest District Officer of the Year one week before shooting Reed, The Indianapolis Star reported. Police have said Reed was shot in an exchange of gunfire with an officer after a chase.

Another officer, Steven Scott was disciplined after he was captured on video following the shooting making an apparent reference to a closed-casket funeral. Scott, who has 15 years of service, was suspended for five days without pay in June, according to personnel files released to the Star.

Both officers are black, according to the department. Before Wednesday, the department had said it could not release the officers' names for safety reasons.

Police have said they began pursuing Reed after officers, including Chief Randal Taylor, saw someone driving recklessly on Interstate 65. Supervisors ordered an end to that pursuit because the vehicle was going nearly 90 mph, police said. An officer later spotted the car on a city street and chased Reed on foot before police say Reed and the officer exchanged gunfire. Assistant Chief Chris Bailey has said a gun found near Reed appeared to have been fired at least twice.

Rosemary Khoury has been appointed special prosecutor to review the shooting. A day before that appointment, attorneys representing Reed's family called for a federal investigation of his death. They said they did not trust the city was reviewing the shooting properly and demanded the autopsy report be released.

Days of protests followed Reed’s killing, which came hours before Indianapolis police officers fatally shot another black man, McHale Rose, 19, and an officer fatally struck a pregnant white woman with his car.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday for an attorney representing Reed’s family.

Recent Indianapolis protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis also have invoked Reed's name. Floyd was a handcuffed black man who died after a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.

IMPD says it is developing a policy that outlines when and how officers involved in critical incidents should be identified to the public, and it will be made available to the public when it is finalized and approved.

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