Sean Reed: Everything we know about Air Force veteran shot dead on Facebook Live by Indianapolis cops
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA: Angry crowd took to the streets on Wednesday, May 6, to protest the death of unarmed African-American air force veteran Sean Reed, hours after he was shot and killed by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer. The entire incident was streamed live on Facebook.
Not much is known about the victim except how he is being remembered by his loved ones and acquaintances. "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 US Veteran. #SeanReed" a man with the username Zy-Lack wrote on Twitter.
Among the crowd that gathered near the intersection of 62nd and Michigan Road, were Sean's relatives. "Just to know it's my little brother...I shouldn't have to bury my little brother," Jazmine Reed told WTHR.
She said that her 21-year-old sibling was a Lawrence North High School graduate who spent a year in the Air Force. At the time he managed to get an education by traveling between Texas and Indianapolis.
Clips of the live broadcast later went viral on Twitter where #SeanReed started trending.
According to a statement from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Sean Reed was observed by police speeding and driving recklessly on Interstate 65. That was when two officers, including Assistant Police Chief Chris Bailey, started pursuing the vehicle. After the car chase, Reed got out of the car and fled on foot while the police tried to stop him, New York Post reported.
At one point, one of the officers fired a taser at Reed and it was shortly followed by the latter whipping out a firearm that he was carrying, the police said. The victim was gunned down around 6.15 pm. Reed's final moments were witnessed by around 4,000 followers on Facebook Live where he was live-streaming the incident.
“62nd and Michigan! Somebody come get my stupid a–. Please come get me,” Sean was heard yelling on the camera. “I just parked this m———-r, I’m gone." Most of the live stream was blurry since the victim's camera shook a lot as he attempted to flee from the cops. Also, a lot of inaudible screaming was heard in the background.
At one point his phone falls facing the sky as approximately 14 shots ring out. After a period of silence, a number of police sirens could be heard nearby and someone repeatedly yelling, “oh my god."
A different version of the broadcast captured a conversation among police officers off-camera after the shooting, although it was unclear who was speaking. “I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” a man could be heard saying as he laughed. In the end, a man bent down and shielded the camera with his notebook and turned it off.
The policeman who carried out the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation into the incident. “IMPD closely scrutinizes all uses of force, as we hold every officer to our high standards,” the department said in a statement.
Between 100 and 150 people gathered near the crime scene to protest the death of Sean. "No justice, no peace" they shouted," Indy Star reported.
Sean Reed's aunt, Ashley Reed, said that like the rest of the world, she found out that her nephew had been shot through the Facebook live stream. "He was like 'Oh, sh--!' and he fell and I heard gunshots and he fell," she said.
Jazmine elaborated on what happened in the aftermath of the shooting. "As soon as I seen the phone saying broadcasting... remember him saying 62nd and Michigan Road, so I drove up Michigan Road and when I got up here and ran through, there was a cop standing right next to me and I think it was him, and I said, 'What's going on with my little brother?' And he looked at me dead in my face and said, 'I don't know what's going on,'" she said.
She said that the family members had no idea what could have possessed Reed to lead the police on the pursuit. "I guess [Sean] decided for whatever reason he wanted to do high speed, He didn't think, he was dumb, he didn't always think before doing certain things, which is wrong," she said.
Nevertheless, Jazmine felt that there were so many other ways to deal with the matter that did not involve her brother's death. "They could have tased him, beat him up," Jazmine said. "He could be behind bars, but now he'll be in a casket the next time I see him."
She concluded that the one thing that she would miss the most about her brother would be his "smile." "He was a ladies' man for sure. I got a 2-year-old, and she loved her uncle so much," Jazmine said.