INDIANAPOLIS, IN – In a bit of good news for the law enforcement community, an Indianapolis, Indiana grand jury has determined that the shooting by Indianapolis police officer Dejoure Mercer of Dreasjon Reed was justified.
Dreasjon Reed stole a gun from a pawnshop & used it to commit crimes. He shot at a black officer during a pursuit & was killed. BLM made him into a martyr anyway & his family is suing the city for a large financial settlement. #BLM https://t.co/HiQIzMUsAT
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) November 11, 2020
As you may recall, Officer Mercer was part of a response group of officers who encountered Dreasjon Reed after Reed had been involved in two drive-by shootings. A gun battle ensued as Reed fired on the officers, and Officer Mercer struck the fatal blow.
Prior to the gunfight, Reed has been driving recklessly at speeds over 90 mph, and an Indianapolis deputy police chief gave chase in an unmarked unit. The Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD) Chief, Randal Taylor, also joined the chase.
Reed was broadcasting video live on Facebook Live during the chase, making jokes and giving updates, indicating the police were behind him, and how many units were involved:
“You gotta look!
It’s just one right now.
Almost lost him, y’all!
Almost got rid of his -ss!”
An IMPD sergeant who had taken control of the pursuit in a marked unit, terminated the chase due to Reed’s speed and reckless driving.
Here is video of BLM martyr Dreasjon Reed shooting his stolen gun at random buildings and homes in a drive-by. This is the same one he used to shoot at police. https://t.co/1RAMR9ybW1
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) November 11, 2020
Reed continued broadcasting:
“I’m not going to jail today!
I’m gonna park this motherf–ker!
Somebody come get my stupid -ss! I’m on 62nd and Michigan, I just parked this mother–ker imma go! Please come get me!”
Officer Mercer was suspended for comments he made after the shooting:
“I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie.”
Mercer made the comments just after the fatal shots were fired, and while reed’s phone was still broadcasting on Facebook Live.
IMPD Assistant Police Chief Bailey commented on the existence of the video, which had been viewed live by at least 16,000 people, and went viral on social media shortly after the shooting:
“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.”
After the shooting, Police Chief Taylor addressed Mercer’s comment in a press conference:
“Let me be clear, these comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of our police department.
We’ll be pursing immediate disciplinary action against that officer.
I hope you understand that I’m one that is willing to acknowledge that if we made mistakes here, we will address them. But let the investigation run its course before we jump to conclusions — either on our side or on the community’s side.”
Officer Mercer, who is also black like Reed, was the target of massive protests, and at least 26 death threats against Mercer and other officers.
Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury told The Indianapolis Star that the grand jury convened for the matter determined there was not sufficient probable cause to charge Officer Mercer for Reed’s death.
Prosecutor Khoury commented:
“This has not been an easy task and it’s been a very heavy burden.”
She tearfully explained that she is the mother of two black sons.
“I am also very empathetic toward Officer Mercer. I know that had to be a difficult position to be in. No one wins.”
Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury says “this has not been an easy task. It’s been a heavy burden.” She is speaking slowly due to emotion. pic.twitter.com/WkMnrERACt
— Eric Weddle (@ericweddle) November 10, 2020
Indiana State Police (ISP) Lieutenant Jeffrey Hearon explained that cartridges collected by police in the shootout with police, and the two drive-by shootings matched the gun Reed fired at Officer Mercer.
Hearon went on to say that Reed had stolen the gun from a Texas pawn shop.
Reed’s family and their attorneys have denied allegations that Reed fired the gun at all, a claim dispelled by Hearon and his investigators.
Reed’s family has also filed a lawsuit against four members of the IMPD, alleging the department failed to properly discipline, supervise, and train several officers who were involved in the series of events that preceded the fatal shooting.
Protesters and Reed’s family have cried foul about the police “shooting a veteran,” but the veteran claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Reed did join the Air Force for a very brief period of time, entering active duty in February of 2017, but was involuntarily separated in November 2017.
Enlistments in the Air Force are either 4 or 6 years. His final duty status was that of a “student,” so he didn’t graduate technical training and remained at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland for the time he was in.
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October 10, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Bodycam footage of an officer involved shooting from January that left a 17-year-old suspect dead was recently released by officials in the wake of desired transparency in police shootings.
While the footage released displays a chaotic, brief and difficult to discern interaction, authorities still remain steadfast in referring to the shooting as being justified.
The report finds that although Kwame Jones was an unarmed passenger, his accidental shooting was justified because another passenger aimed a gun at the officer. https://t.co/CFHH9Hz92N
— First Coast News (@FCN2go) October 9, 2020
According to the State Attorney’s Office investigative summary, 17-year-old Kwame Jones was shot by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Officer Nicholas Lawson on January 5th of 2020 following an attempted traffic stop of a stolen vehicle.
What led to the shooting incident of Jones, who was unarmed when shot by Officer Lawson, was due mainly to that of the other suspects inside of the stolen vehicle at the time.
When Officer Lawson tried to pull over the stolen vehicle, 18-year-old Bobby Whitty – who was driving the vehicle – had instead led Officer Lawson on a chase. Carter has reportedly crashed into a concrete pole of a pedestrian overpass, which then Officer Lawson attempted to approach the vehicle after exiting his issued vehicle.
But a man in the backseat of the vehicle, identified as 18-year-old Joseph Carter, produced a firearm and pointed it at Officer Lawson.
In response, Officer Lawson opened fire at Carter, who was non-fatally wounded, but incidentally wound up striking Jones who was seated in front of Carter at the time.
While there’s nothing in the report that alleges Jones presented a material threat himself to Officer Lawson, the incidental shooting of him was also justified because of the threat that Carter posed who happened to be staged near Jones when Officer Lawson opened fire.
The State Attorney’s Office investigative summary explains that aspect as follows:
“The fact that Jones did not point a firearm at Officer Lawson does not change the analysis or conclusions about Officer Lawson’s actions.
Under the theory of transferred intent, the unintended killing of Jones was justified under these circumstances, due to Carter’s decision to point the firearm directly at Officer Lawson.”
Despite Whitty having fled the scene on foot while Officer Lawson was occupied with Carter at the time, Whitty was also arrested shortly after Carter was taken into custody.
Carter was booked under charges of possession of a firearm by a juvenile delinquent found to have committed a felony, whereas Whitty was charged with aggravated fleeing from police.
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