Federal judge rules parts of trial can continue in Dreasjon Reed shooting

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has ruled that parts of a lawsuit filed by Dreasjon Reed’s family can proceed.

Thursday’s decision relates to a lawsuit filed by Reed’s mother in connection with the May 2020 shooting.

Reed was shot on May 6, 2020, after leading police in a chase he streamed live on Facebook. The incident began on I-65 near 30th Street, with IMPD pursuing Reed until he stopped his vehicle and exited near West 62nd Street and Michigan Road.

Officers pursued Reed; IMPD said Officer Dejoure Mercer deployed his Taser but it was ineffective. The department also said Reed exchanged gunfire with the officer; a firearm was found with him at the scene.

Reed died of multiple gunshot wounds. His family disputes the IMPD’s account of events.

The high-profile case led to the appointment of a special prosecutor. A grand jury returned a “no charge,” meaning it did not find enough probable cause to charge Mercer with a crime.

After the announcement of the grand jury’s decision, the Indiana State Police shared the evidence presented to the panel.

Reed’s family is pursuing a federal wrongful death lawsuit regarding the shooting, seeking punitive and compensatory damages. While Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said parts of the trial could proceed, others were dismissed.

According to the judge’s decision, the lawsuit can go forward with the following claims:

  • A Fourth Amendment excessive force claim against Mercer related to the use of an electronic monitoring device (Taser)
  • The federal claim for inadequate medical care against Mercer
  • Complaint against the city of Indianapolis regarding an alleged policy of excessive force
  • Complaint against the City of Indianapolis regarding inadequate training
  • The state’s wrongful death law and negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED) claims against Chief Randal Taylor and Deputy Chief Kendale Adams

The judge dismissed other parts of the lawsuit as moot:

  • Fourth Amendment excessive force complaint against Mercer tied to shooting
  • The state law complaint against Mercer
  • The State Law Battery Claim Against the City of Indianapolis
  • NIED State Law Claims Against City of Indianapolis

A June 20 trial date has been set, although the judge wrote in the decision: “The parties are encouraged to work with the magistrate judge to reach a resolution of this matter before trial.”

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