Dreasjon Reed’s family lawyers commented on Saturday on a grand jury’s decision not to charge the IMPD officer who shot and killed the 21-year-old.
Rosemary Khoury, the special prosecutor tasked with overseeing the investigation into Reed’s death, announced Tuesday that a grand jury had decided not to indict Mercer. The six-member panel said there was insufficient evidence that a crime had been committed.
Reed family lawyers Fatima Johnson and Swaray Conteh said Saturday that the civil portion of the case continues despite the lack of criminal charges. Reed’s mother, Demetree Wynn, filed a lawsuit in federal court on June 16 for wrongful death – what would have been his 22nd birthday. The lawsuit is against the city of Indianapolis, IMPD boss Randal Taylor, deputy boss Kendale Adams and Mercer. The lawsuit alleges the lack of training in the use of excessive force that led to Reed’s death last month.
Mercer shot Reed on May 6th. Police said Reed initially led officers in a high-speed chase on Interstate 65. After the chase was abandoned because of dangerous speeds, Mercer spotted the car on a city street in the area of 62nd Street and Michigan Road. He followed Reed on foot before the two exchanged shots, according to police.
Indiana State Police said their investigation, based on video and audio evidence, revealed that Reed fired a pistol twice after Mercer used his taser on Reed. Mercer fired his weapon 13 times.
Reed streamed the video live on Facebook as the events played out, but the filming was not videotaped.
Reed’s family and their lawyers have said from the start that they don’t believe he shot Mercer. During Saturday’s press conference, Conteh and Johnson denied information submitted by state police following the grand jury’s decision, citing evidence showing that Reed did not fire his gun.