I-Team 8

Indianapolis City-County Council members call for peaceful protest after verdict in Dreasjon Reed death

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two members of the Indianapolis City-County Council said Wednesday they accept the grand jury’s decision not to charge a police officer in the shooting death of Dreasjon “Sean” Reed. They are also calling for peaceful protests in Indianapolis in the wake of the decision.

The president of the City-County Council, Vop Osili, stopped short in his statement Wednesday, saying that he would respect the special prosecutor and the grand jury verdict, but would not say the actions of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Dejoure Mercer’s actions were justified.

Mercer shot and killed Reed following a chase on May 6.

Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury announced the grand jury’s decision on Tuesday evening.

Khoury said the grand jury came back with a “no bill,” decision, meaning there was insufficient evidence to charge Mercer.

Osili is planning a series of virtual conversations about the role of police in Indianapolis. News 8 has heard from several people in the last 24 hours calling for police reform; Congressman Andre Carson tweeted Tuesday night that he was disappointed and is calling for changes on a national level.

But here in Indianapolis, what is the next step? What is the city and council doing to ease tension?

“…And we heard our community say to us ‘these are the things that start to build trust, one bias training, let us make sure we do it. Posting of the general orders and the general orders themselves,”‘ said Osili. “We have taken action on this and we will continue to do those things so we have that level of rebuilding trust.”

City-County Council member Leroy Robinson, who is chair of the Public Safety Committee, said the council is not defunding the police department and he pointed to four items the council has introduced recently: body cameras, Civilian Review Board, General Orders Board and Citizens Police Complaint Board.

The city is prepared for demonstrations and protests and Osili is encouraging people to have their voice heard, but in a peaceful manner.