Indianapolis, IN – An Indianapolis police officer has been suspended and reassigned for a comment he made at the scene of a fatal officer-involved shooting.
“I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” the unnamed officer said, just moments after the 21-year-old gunman, Dreasjon Reed, was fatally shot by a fellow officer.
The officer’s statement was captured by the Facebook Live video Reed was streaming as he fled from pursuing officers and during the ensuing shootout, WRTV reported.
Thousands of people tuned in to watch the events unfold, according to WTHR.
The Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) has not released the name of the officer for his own safety, but said that he is African-American, WRTV reported.
They said they will also not release the identity of the officer who exchanged gunfire with Reed, according to The Indianapolis Star.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said that detectives are currently investigating at least 26 threats that were made against police in the wake of the officer-involved shooting.
The incident began shortly before 6 p.m. on May 6, when IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams spotted someone in a gray Toyota Corolla driving recklessly on Interstate 65, according to The Washington Post.
The suspect, later identified by his family as Reed, was traveling “at a high rate of speed and disobeying all traffic signals,” and nearly slammed into other vehicles as he exited the interstate, police said.
Deputy Chief Adams, who was in an unmarked vehicle, attempted to stop the reckless driver and radioed for additional assistance, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Chief Taylor, who happened to be traveling behind Deputy Chief Adams in a second unmarked vehicle, joined the pursuit as Reed sped away at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.
When officers in marked patrol vehicles arrived in the area, Chief Taylor and Deputy Chief Adams turned the chase over to them – a move that is standard procedure for officers in unmarked vehicles, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Meanwhile, a shirtless Reed began streaming the chase on Facebook Live under the title, “High speed chase lol,” according to The Washington Post.
“You gotta look,” he told the thousands of viewers who tuned in as he pointed the camera at the patrol vehicle following behind him, according to The Indianapolis Star. “It’s just one right now.”
“Almost lost him, y’all!” he announced a moment later. “Almost got rid of his -ss!”
An IMPD sergeant terminated the chase just minutes later due to the suspect’s dangerous speeds and recklessness, The Indianapolis Star reported.
“I’m not going to jail today!” Reed yelled in the video.
A short while later, an IMPD officer spotted Reed driving eastbound on 62nd Street, The Indianapolis Star reported.
“I’m gonna park this motherf–ker!” Reed squealed in the video. “Somebody come get my stupid -ss! I’m on 62nd and Michigan, I just parked this mother–ker imma go! Please come get me!”
Reed then jumped out of the vehicle and took off running.
The officer chased the suspect on foot for a moment before he and Reed got into a confrontation, IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said, according to The Indianapolis Star.
The officer also deployed his Taser at some point during the altercation, according to The Washington Post.
“Stop! Stop!” the officer ordered in the video.
“F–k you!” Reed yelled back.
The suspect then shot at the officer, who returned fire, WTHR reported.
Reed yelled out and appeared to collapse to the ground with his cell phone pointed up at the sky as the livestream continued.
More than 16,000 people had tuned in to watch the video by that time, according to The Indianapolis Star.
Reed was pronounced dead at the scene, The Washington Post reported.
“I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” someone off-camera said at one point in the video, according to The Indianapolis Star.
The firearm Reed had been carrying was found next to his body, The Washington Post reported.
No officers or citizens were injured during the exchange of gunfire, police said.
The IMPD’s critical response team is handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting, according to The Washington Post.
Assistant Chief Bailey said that investigators are aware of the suspect’s Facebook Live video.
The video has been removed from Reed’s Facebook account, but not before it was widely circulated on social media and re-recorded by others, The Washington Post reported.
“Both the officers and the detectives have done their due diligence in preserving that evidence through the proper legal channels, and if it’s associated that there’s information on there that’s appropriate for the investigation, they’ll utilize it,” he told reporters.
The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, as per protocol, The Washington Post reported.
The officer and Reed are both black, according to the news outlet.
IMPD officers also clashed with Reed back in September of 2019, The Indianapolis Star reported.
During that incident, Reed was arrested on two felony counts of intimidation, as well as misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and driving while suspended.
He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest that was issued in October of last year, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Within hours of the fatal shootout, an angry mob of 100 to 150 people descended on the scene to demand “justice” for the armed suspect, The Indianapolis Star reported.
“We need to see somebody go to prison!” one protester declared, according to The Indianapolis Star.
“Murder! Murder!” the group chanted. “No justice! No peace!”
Protester Keith Paschall told The Indianapolis Star that he believes Reed’s video will prove that he was a victim.
“As ugly as it is…the only way we might get justice for him is everyone seeing how he was shot like a dog,” Paschall declared. “Had he not livestreamed the story …this would be a footnote to everyone’s evening.”
Reed’s sister, Jazmine Reed, said she was watching the Facebook Live video when the shooting occurred, WTHR reported.
Jazmine said that Reed served one year in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school, and that he split his time living between Indianapolis and Texas.
“I guess [Sean] decided for whatever reason he wanted to do high speed,” she told WTHR. “He didn’t think. He was dumb. He didn’t always think before doing certain things, which is wrong.”
But Jazmine also argued that she “shouldn’t have to bury” her brother, The Washington Post reported.
“I feel like to lose a life, especially at a young age, there’s never going to be justice,” she said. “Cause he’s gone — there’s never justice for that. Even if somebody was to get time or whatever for it, it’s never going to be justice because he’s never coming back.”
Protesters yelled at police and taunted them during the demonstration on May 6 night.
“[Reed] deserved better. We deserve better,” protester Satchel Paige told The Indianapolis Star. “I am disgusted, horrified, tired and angry.”
“This is why we need a new use of force policy. It is imperative,” Paige declared. “We cannot hold these killers accountable when the use of force makes it legal.”
The demonstration lasted until late into the night, The Washington Post reported.