Indianapolis police fatally shot a black man after a high-speed chase. Just after the shooting someone can be heard mocking the man in Facebook Live footage.
The deaths included two police shootings, one of which was streamed live on Facebook, and an officer fatally striking a pregnant woman with his car.
- An Indianapolis man identified by family as 21-year-old Sean Reed was fatally shot by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer on Wednesday following a high-speed chase.
- Reed was apparently broadcasting the incident on Facebook Live.
- The Facebook Live continued to broadcast after Reed was shot, and the recording captured a conversation, seemingly between police officers at the scene, though it remains unclear who’s talking.
- “I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” one person says to others at the scene.
The police in Indianapolis on Thursday faced mounting pressure to provide answers for a traumatic eight-hour stretch in the city in which police officers killed three people — a man shot by the police while he streamed the encounter live on Facebook, a pregnant woman who was fatally struck by an officer’s car, and a 19-year-old man who may have called 911 to lure the police to an apartment before firing at them.
Scores of protesters, many of them wearing masks, gathered downtown on Thursday, in a rare display of public grief and outrage in a city still largely shut down because of the coronavirus. Much of the protesters’ concern was directed at the first of the three encounters, in which Dreasjon Reed, 21, was shot and killed while running from a police officer after a brief car chase on Wednesday evening.
The demonstration came after the police released new details about the shooting and pledged that disciplinary action would be taken against a detective who was heard on the Facebook video making a morbid joke about Mr. Reed’s funeral.
The police said the chase began when the department’s chief and deputy chief noticed Mr. Reed driving recklessly and sought to pull him over, at which point Mr. Reed continued to drive and began recording himself on Facebook Live, saying he did not want to go to jail and pleading with someone to come get him. The chase was called off, but as Mr. Reed left the car and fled on foot, another nearby officer ran after him, shooting and killing him.
Randal Taylor, the police chief, said at a news conference on Thursday that a gun had been found near Mr. Reed and that it appeared it had been fired twice. He said that, in total, 15 shell casings had been recovered from the two guns, seemingly indicating that the officer had fired 13 shots, many of which can be heard on the Facebook video. The officer has not been identified, but the police said that he and Mr. Reed were both black men.
Following the shooting, as Mr. Reed lay dead on the ground, his phone continued to record. In the video, a man can be heard off-camera laughing as he says, “Think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” apparently referring to Mr. Reed’s funeral. Chief Taylor said the comment was made by a detective and that the department planned to discipline the officer.
“His comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of our police department,” Chief Taylor said, adding that the detective had not been at the scene until after Mr. Reed was shot. “We will be pursuing immediate disciplinary action against that officer.”
In posts on Facebook, family members said Mr. Reed, who was known as Sean, had once been a member of the Air Force.
“To see your son get shot and killed on FACEBOOK Live is a different kind of hurt,” his mother wrote on Facebook.
The second death came less than four hours after Mr. Reed was killed, when an officer struck a pregnant woman with his car while driving to work. The woman, identified by the coroner as 23-year-old Ashlynn Lisby, and her unborn child both died at a hospital, the police said.
Chief Taylor said that a preliminary investigation, which included drawing blood from the officer, Jonathon Henderson, showed no indication that the officer was impaired, and that he had tried to resuscitate the victim. Chief Taylor said the woman was walking on an on-ramp to a highway when she was struck, and was wearing dark clothing and near a broken streetlight.
Then, just after 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, four police officers shot and killed a 19-year-old man who had fired a rifle at them as they arrived outside an apartment in response to a 911 call reporting a burglary, Chief Taylor said.
Chief Taylor said that he did not yet know the motive of the man who fired on officers, identified by the coroner as McHale Rose. But he said Mr. Rose may have called 911 to lure officers to the scene, possibly in response to the earlier shooting of Mr. Reed, which took place just three miles away.
“The deceased individual may have made the call with the intention of initiating an ambush-style attack on the officers when they arrived,” he said.
No officers were injured in any of the encounters.
“In conclusion,” he said, “last night was a difficult night for our entire community, filled with tragedy.”