Indiana State Police share evidence after grand jury announcement

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police shared the evidence presented to the grand jury in a case involving a police shooting that left an Indianapolis man dead in May.

This comes after a grand jury returned a “no bill,” meaning they did not find enough probable cause to charge or accuse Officer Dejoure Mercer with a crime.

According to IMPD, Officer Dejoure Mercer said Reed fired at him twice during a foot chase in the vicinity of 62nd Street and North Michigan Road May 6 before the patrolman fired back, fatally wounding the 21-year-old man. Reed’s family and attorney dispute IMPD’s account of the events.

During the news conference, ISP presented evidence in the case including surveillance video, a reconstruction of the scene and photographs of items at the scene.

Police say the shooting happened shortly after a chase that ended behind Ace Lock & Key at the intersection of Michigan and 62nd Street. Mercer chased Reed across the street, where the shooting took place.

The chase was captured on Reed’s phone during a Facebook Live. This video was used as evidence along with video from Ace Lock & Key and the public library.

Police say the Facebook Live video shows Reed’s firearm, which they say was tucked inside Reed’s underwear. A slide shared by the ISP states that video of the livestream slowed to 20% captures a uniquely designed and colored object. Indiana State Police say this is the rear sight and slide of the pistol.

“As he’s running, his camera’s going to pan down to his waistband and you’re going to see this image here,” Lt. Jeffrey Hearon said during the evidence presentation. “This is the rear side of his pistol which is a glock. It has an after market slide on it which is yellow in color. This is the slide here.”

The video also shows Reed holding a phone in each hand as he ran away from the officer.

Police say the live stream shows Reed in possession of the firearm during the vehicle pursuit and while he was running. This firearm, ISP reports, Reed stole from a pawn shop in Texas. The firearm was linked to other crimes including two drive-by shootings.

Once across the street, police say Officer Mercer used a Taser, but was unsuccessful. This is because, as ISP explained, the Taser was unable to make a complete circuit.

Crime scene photos show where the Taser probes made contact on Reed. One probe made contact on the upper left of Reed's back and the second made contact on his upper rear left thigh.
Scene photo of attempt to use Taser to subdue Reed. (Photo//ISP)

ISP said Reed was beginning to draw his weapon while Officer Mercer was deploying his Taser. They say Reed fired twice after the Taser was deployed. Officer Mercer fired his weapon 13 times. However, they were not able to determine who fired first.

“A person who is in possession of a pistol can pull that, action is faster than reaction, that they can literally grab that firearm , turn and fire, faster than an officer can process that,” Hearon said. “Can say, ‘okay I have a threat, I’m going to need to pull my firearm,’ and so action is faster than reaction. Officer Mercer, instead of using his firearm he is pulling his Taser out. He actually tases him and at the same time that Mr. Reed is actually pulling his firearm out.”

A ballistics expert and a crime scene reconstructionist say Reed was facing Officer Mercer when he was shot and was moving until “final rest.”

ISP says the firearm was moved out of Reed’s hands to make the scene safe for medical staff to approach. This is due to Indianapolis Fire Department policy that their personnel do not engage in a scene that has not been rendered safe by law enforcement. The ISP says a firearm in Reed’s hands would have deemed the scene unsafe for their approach.

The grand jury did not find enough probable cause to charge or accuse Officer Dejoure Mercer with a crime. Special Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury said she’s confident the investigation was conducted in an impartial manner.

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