June 16, 2020

Family Of Dreasjon Reed Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A spray painted wall in downtown Indianapolis. - Jill Sheridan WFYI

A spray painted wall in downtown Indianapolis.

Jill Sheridan WFYI

The family of Dreasjon Reed filed a wrongful death lawsuit June 16, on what would have been his 22nd birthday.  

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Indiana’s Southern District by Reed’s mother Demetree Wynn. It names the City of Indianapolis, IMPD, Chief Randal Taylor and the officer who shot Reed, Dejoure Mercer. 

The suit claims a lack of training in the use of excessive force that led to Reed’s wrongful death last month.

It details how Reed fled from police on May 6 in a friend’s car before stopping at 62nd Street and Michigan Road. Police have said that Reed fired a gun at Mercer, but the family disputes that claim.

The incident streamed live on Facebook while thousands watched. The family says Reed never shot at the officer after he was tasered.

The lawsuit also names Steven Scott, the officer heard on the social media video making a comment about the need for a closed casket after Reed was shot.

Last week, the special prosecutor overseeing the case asked the Indiana State Police to handle the investigation, saying it was best for an independent agency look into the shooting.

The Reed family has asked for an investigation by federal authorities. Attorneys representing the family said they do not trust the city to handle the investigation properly. 

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