INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis has settled a lawsuit with the family of Dreasjon Reed three years after his death.
According to internal IMPD documents obtained by FOX59/CBS4, the police agency discussed the reasoning behind the decision to reach a settlement on the high-profile case.
“The decision to settle was not a decision made lightly: however, there are risks in taking a case to jury trial, particularly one that involves a death,” the IMPD statement said. “It is incumbent upon the City to be good stewards of public funds, and limit risk to taxpayers.”
IMPD said in the internal documents that reaching a settlement does not “imply an admission of liability.” Chief Randal Taylor also said he believes Officer De’Joure Mercer “was lawfully defending himself” during the fatal encounter.
According to the settlement agreement struck between Reed’s mother, Demetree Wynn, and the city, Reed’s family is due to receive $390,000 in compensation.
Reed was shot and killed on May 6, 2020 by Officer Mercer following a police chase that Reed live-streamed on Facebook. The chase originally began on I-65 near 30th Street and ended near W. 62nd St. and Michigan Road when Reed exited his vehicle.
Reed later died as a result of gunshot wounds he suffered during the encounter. IMPD had said at the time that Reed fired multiple shots at officers. A firearm was found next to him at the scene.
Reed’s family filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit for what they called excessive use of force and continued to challenge IMPD’s version of events.
The case led to the appointment of a special prosecutor. A grand jury eventually decided not to charge Mercer, citing a lack of probable cause.