A large crowd of more than 100 people gathered near a crime scene in Indianapolis Wednesday night, demanding answers after a man was killed in an officer-involved shooting seen on Facebook Live.
The Washington Post reports that protests carried on until late in the night following the shooting. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said officers tried to apprehend the man because he was driving recklessly. After the man exited his vehicle, an officer chased him on foot before gunshots were exchanged around 6:15 p.m., The Post reported.
Although police have not identified the man, people identifying themselves as family members said the victim was 21-year-old Sean Reed.
Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor and Deputy Chief Kendale Adams said they first noticed a gray Toyota Corolla driving erratically on the interstate, according to an incident report obtained by The Post. After being led on a high-speed chase, police followed Reed as he pulled the vehicle behind a locksmith store near West 62nd Street. Reports state that he ran out of the car after police asked him to stop and tried to detain him.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the department said Reed possessed a gun and that there were two officers at the scene at the time he was shot. Initial findings in the incident report indicated that one of the officers confronted the man and deployed his Taser.
Police have to yet to detail what initiated the confrontation between the officer and the deceased. The department has acknowledged that both men are Black, and the involved officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, according to The Post.
Jazmine Reed, who identified herself in an interview as Sean’s sister, told WISH that her family watched the tragic event unfold on Facebook in real-time. She said she'll never get justice for losing her brother because nothing is going to be able to bring him back.
“I feel like to lose a life, especially at a young age, there’s never going to be justice,” she said. “Cause he’s gone — there’s never justice for that. Even if somebody was to get time or whatever for it, it’s never going to be justice because he’s never coming back.”
She added, “I shouldn’t have to bury my little brother.”
Tiona Reed, who was identified as Sean's aunt, told the Indy Star the family has not received any official word about what happened and felt like the protesters were complicating the process.
"Maybe if they weren’t here, we could get some more information," she said, in reference to the large group demonstrating near the crime scene.
The 37-year-old declined to comment further, but another family member thanked the people gathered for their support and asked that they remain peaceful, per the Indy Star.
After the shooting occurred, a video began making rounds on social media of a Facebook Live recording that captures a shirtless male fleeing an incident in a vehicle.
In the video, it’s difficult to discern why Sean feels threatened, but it starts with him urging someone to “please come get me.”
After making the request for help, the young man parks the vehicle and gets out of the car. Seemingly lost and unaware of his surroundings, the man takes off running. Seconds later, he is confronted by someone and asks, “What did you say?”
Then, the video captures sounds of shouting, and the first gunshot follows that verbal altercation.
— Ariel (@heyarielouise) May 7, 2020
After multiple shots are fired, the man appears to drop his phone as he is collapsing to the ground.
But even after it appeared that the man was incapacitated on the ground, a handful of additional gunshots can be heard.
In the aftermath, audio believed to be taken at the scene records someone mocking the deceased, saying, “Looks like it's going to be a closed casket, homie.”
It's unclear if an officer made the comment.
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A man claiming to have served with Sean in the military said in a tweet that he will remember him as a father, a U.S. veteran and a friend.
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.#SeanReed
— Zy-Lack (@YoungProdigy987) May 7, 2020
Sean's sister said she'll remember his smile and his being a great uncle to her daughter. She said she couldn't understand why there wasn't a different outcome for her brother.
“He could be behind bars, but now he’ll be in a casket the next time I see him,” Jazmine said.
Indy police said they were aware of the videos on social media but have not confirmed their legitimacy. They said that the shooting is being investigated to ensure that the officer followed departmental policy.