Indianapolis police release cops' names in black man's death

Updated 6/10/2020 4:15 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -- 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 saying: 'I think it's going to be a closed casket, homie,' 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 (145 kph), 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.

A special prosecutor has been appointed to review the shooting.

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.

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