Dreasjon “Sean” Reed was shot and killed by Indianapolis police on May 6, 2020, in an incident that was captured on Reed’s Facebook Live. The 21-year-old Reed was involved in a police pursuit in the northwest of the city, when he parked his car near 62nd and Michigan and began to run. According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), the officer in pursuit tried to tase Reed and then shot him. Reed was pronounced dead at the scene.
The IMPD stated in its report: “While we are withholding judgement on the actions of the involved officer at this time, the officer has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.” The shooting is under investigation.
Since the incident occurred, people have been sharing the story on social media and protests have taken place. A lot of social media posts are highlighting Reed’s life, including his military service.
Here’s what you need to know about Reed:
1. Reed Was Streaming on Facebook Live Throughout the Police Pursuit & the Stream Continued After He Was Shot & Killed
Warning: the video is graphic and may disturb viewers.
The entire incident was captured on Facebook Live through Reed’s “Sean DaDon” Facebook page. It begins with Reed driving his car with police in pursuit. Reed parks the car, saying he’s at 62nd and Michigan streets and “somebody come get my stupid a**. Please come get me.” He then gets out and starts running, while a presumed officer is shouting at Reed.
Reed then yells “F*** you,” at which point he groans and drops his phone to the ground. Someone in the background then yells “s**t,” and gunshots are heard.
The live stream continues and it’s possible to hear someone, who is presumably an officer, say: “Oh he actually got one off?” and another presumed officer says, “looks like it’s gonna be a closed casket homie.” The video continues for a few moments until an officer approaches and turns it off.
In their report, the IMPD says that “there was an exchange of gunfire between the driver and the officer. The driver was struck by the gunfire.” They add that no officers were injured in the incident. They also indicate that the pursuit began when they observed Reed’s car driving recklessly.
2. Protests Have Taken Place in Indianapolis Since the Evening of May 6
Protests have taken place in the city following the fatal shooting. Video posted to Twitter of the crime scene shows a line of police officers standing and blocking the area, with a crowd of protesters facing them:
In another part of the city, protesters are heard chanting: “I am Sean Reed.”
One reporter added that the protest had turned into a march for Sean Reed:
3. Reed’s Family Have Spoken About the Pain of Seeing Him Killed on Facebook Live
Reed’s family has shared their pain at his death, and especially at having found out through watching it on Facebook Live. After the shooting, Reed’s sister Jazmine told WTHR: “Just to know it’s my little brother…I shouldn’t have to bury my little brother.” She said that both her and Reed’s aunt, Ashley Reed, watched the events unfold on the live stream.
Jazmine Reed said: “As soon as I seen the phone saying broadcasting…remember him saying 62nd and Michigan Road, so I drove up Michigan Road and when I got up here and ran through, there was a cop standing right next to me and I think it was him, and I said, ‘What’s going on with my little brother?’ And he looked at me dead in my face and said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on.'”
Jazmine added, “I guess [Sean] decided for whatever reason he wanted to do high speed. He didn’t think, he was dumb, he didn’t always think before doing certain things, which is wrong,” however, she wanted people to know that he was a good person and loved his family.
Reed’s mother also posted about her son’s death, according to The New York Times. She wrote: “To see your son get shot and killed on FACEBOOK Live is a different kind of hurt.”
Reed’s father added that the video “crushed” him, saying: “It just shows me that we’re not really being protected and served. We’re being hunted. My son was a great son. I love him to death. He was just a typical young adult like anybody else. He didn’t deserve to die like that.”
4. Reed Had Recently Left the U.S. Air Force, Where He Served for a Year
According to AP News, Reed served for less than a year in 2017, but U.S. military records do not include the details of his departure due to privacy laws.
Many people have posted about Reed’s service in the Air Force following his death. One person posted that they had gone through basic training together:
They wrote: “I knew Sean, he was my friend. He was my wingman in basic training. me, him, and our crew would always talk about what we wanted for our future. Today I find out that he was murdered in cold blood for being Black in America. A father, son, brother, and a U.S Veteran.”
Another person posted:
The post reads: “Sean Reed, an Air Force veteran, was killed after being shot multiple times. Keep him & his family in your prayers. Everytime I see a name hashtag I cringe.”
5. Reed Was an ‘Energetic’ 21-Year-Old Who Studied at Tarrant County College
Reed’s Facebook profile indicates that he was from Indianapolis and lived in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis before studying at Tarrant County College in Texas. According to an interview with his father, Jamie Reed, in the IndyStar, Reed was described as “sweet. Lovable. Always smiling. Always up and moving around. Always keeping everyone’s spirits up.”
His family also said that he was very active and played basketball. Reed had a sister and a two-year-old niece, who both lived in Indianapolis, so Reed split his time between Texas and Indianapolis.