Protesters: Grand jury in fatal police shooting of Dreasjon Reed is step toward ‘bigger cause’
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A planned protest at IMPD district headquarters Friday night took on new meaning as the police shooting of Dreasjon Reed heads to a grand jury.
Protesters said they see the Friday announcement as a step in the right direction, but they’re worried the grand jury won’t indict.
Indy10 Black Lives Matter first announced the Occupy Northwest District sit-in on Tuesday.
Dozens gathered outside IMPD District Headquarters on the northwest side near 38th and Guion Road where about 5 miles away, Reed was shot and killed by police on May 6.
Joshua Griffin is Reed’s cousin and helped lead the chants Friday with a megaphone.
He watched earlier in the day as Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury announced the case would be heading to the grand jury.
“Grand juries bring mixed emotions,” Griffin said. “We’re happy they’re asking for a grand jury, but 9 times out of 10, grand juries vote for the oppressor. It’s not like we’re going to throw a party; we just have to wait and see.”
Organizers with Indy10 Black Lives Matter like Zion Smith said the same. They’re as interested in the outcome of the grand jury and an indictment as they are in convening one.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s also not really moving fast enough because both of them should have justice by now,” Smith said, referring to the cases of Reed and McHale Rose.
The Rose case is still in the hands of the prosecutor, but the officers involved were brought back to work in August.
So with outcomes uncertain, the protesters gather. Strangers, friends, even family like Griffin leading the charge.
Unlike past marches, this charge is staying in place with sign-holding and chalk-messaging in the parking lot. Others are just sitting to make sure their message is heard.
“We’re standing out here for a way bigger cause than Dreasjon Reed. Yes, we want justice for my family member, but yet this is for a way bigger cause,” Griffin said. “That’s what we’re trying to let everyone know. We’re tired. We’re going to stand up. We’re going to continue to fight, don’t think we’re going to let take this laying down because we’re not. We’ve been silent for too long.”
Things started around 5:30 p.m. but more people really started to stream in after 6 p.m. Someone even brought a load of pizzas to keep everyone fed.
Everyone plans to head home at midnight. There’s another event planned by Indy10 elsewhere Saturday morning.