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Widely Shared Facebook Live Video Linked to Police Shooting of Sean Reed


[Warning: the video is disturbing]

Police in Indianapolis, Indiana say that one of their officers shot and killed a man who was the subject of a pursuit. Officers have not discussed a widely shared video, which purportedly shows the incident.

“Looks like it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” said one person in the footage, as officers apparently investigate the aftermath of the shooting. That individual’s identity is publicly unknown. Chuckling can be heard after the comment.

The man who was killed in the incident was not identified by police, but a family member identified him as Sean Reed, according to The Indianapolis Star.

Footage shows a driver–the narrator of the Facebook Live video–parking his car, and stepping out of his vehicle. He runs off, and appears to exchange words with someone else.

“What you say?” said the man. Seconds pass before he said “Fuck you.” Then shots were fired; this was apparently the fatal confrontation.

Footage often focused on the man’s face. After the shooting, the focus shifted to the sky, so events are not entirely clear from the video alone.

Police say that the chase started at about 6 p.m. as Deputy Chief Kendale Adams saw a grey Toyota Corolla driving recklessly and almost striking other vehicles while exiting Interstate 65. Chief Randal Taylor was in another vehicle behind Adams, according to the official account. Adams asked for other officers to help, and Taylor assisted, police said. Meanwhile, the suspect vehicle was allegedly driving fast and disobeying traffic signals.

Adams and Taylor backed off when marked cars got involved, police said. Officers described this as standard procedure. A sergeant monitoring the chase ordered it be stopped, so officers backed off.

According to police, another officer saw the Corolla at about 6:16 p.m. The suspect driver allegedly parked behind a business, and ignored commands to stop. There was a foot chase.

From police:

Initial information indicates the officer deployed his taser. At which point there was an exchange of gunfire between the driver and the officer. The driver was struck by the gunfire.

The incident lands on a fraught cultural fissure: the ongoing national debate over how officers treat people of color, especially black men. The man seen on the video (Reed) was black. Assistant chief of police Chris Bailey said the driver, and the officer who opened fire were both black. A gun was found near the suspect, he said.

[Screengrab via Facebook Live]

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