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Special Prosecutor Assigned to Police Shooting of Dreasjon Reed in Indianapolis is an Important Step Towards Transparency

June 10, 2020

A special prosecutor was recently assigned to the police shooting of Dreasjon Reed that occurred on May 6,  following several weeks of calls from the community, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Chief of Police for an external review. The development came amid widespread protests in Indiana and across the country following several killings by police officers, including George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

“We still have many questions about what happened,” said Desmond Harris, a volunteer with the Indiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The assignment of a special prosecutor is an important step toward a transparent investigation and repairing trust in the community, and we will continue to monitor the investigation to urge a transparent and thorough process. It is clear much more must be done to prevent police shootings before they happen and to demand accountability after they do.”

Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans, and 124 people have been killed by police between 2013 and 2019 in Indiana. Mapping Police Violence also shows that 99% of killings by the police from 2013-2019 did not result in officers being charged with a crime.

Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings. By encouraging de-escalation, utilizing early intervention systems, and ensuring that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable, use of force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police.

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