Sean Reed, 21, was fatally shot by Indianapolis police on the night of May 5. Although officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) were chasing his vehicle because Reed was seen driving recklessly and speeding, what they did not know was that the young man was live-streaming the chase on Facebook.
His death was also live-streamed, and thousands of people witnessed the shooting. The police did not have a dash or body camera in use at the time of the shooting.
Within hours, protestors gathered despite the coronavirus lockdown. They accused the police of murder and shouted, “No justice, no peace.”
Please Come Get Me
When Reed finally parked his gray Toyota Corolla, he speaks to his viewers, gives the address, and asks them to “please come get me.” He had told viewers that he did not want to go to jail. From the rest of the video, it appears Reed had put his phone in his waistband.
According to police, Reed then ignored commands to stop when he got out of his car. It is not possible to hear these commands in the live-streamed video. Viewers can see Reed starting to run, and an audible “stop” is heard. Police say that an officer fired a taser at Reed, but more than a dozen gunshots are heard on the video. The police claim there was “an exchange of gunfire” between Reed and the officers. A loaded gun was found near Reed.
Reed was African-American, and so was the officer who shot him. After the killing, the officer is heard saying, “Oh, my God,” over and over, as well as repeating expletives. The officer has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Closed Casket Homie
After the shooting, the video continued streaming. One man is heard saying, “I think it is going to be a closed casket homie.” The chief of police, Randal Taylor, later said the voice was that of a detective who arrived on the scene post-shooting. He said such comments were unacceptable, and the detective faces disciplinary action.
A Sister Speaks
Reed’s sister, Jazmine, said she and her family watched the entire scene on Facebook as it occurred. She immediately drove to the scene, not knowing whether Sean was dead or alive.
Jazmine Reed said that while it was wrong for her brother to have engaged in a high-speed police chase, she said the police could have tasered him or “beat him up” rather than killing him.
A Tragic Day
Sean Reed was not the only one who lost their life that day in Indianapolis due to the police. A pregnant woman succumbed to her injuries after being hit by a police vehicle, and police shot a 19-year-old man. The latter apparently lured police to his home after calling 911 and then began firing at them.
The police officer who struck the woman tried to revive him, but she and her baby were later pronounced dead at a hospital.