INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis’ top prosecutor on Friday asked a court to appoint an independent prosecutor to probe a fatal police shooting that was at least partially live-streamed on Facebook, citing the police chief’s role as a witness.
Indianapolis police have said an officer shot and killed Dreasjon Reed, who was black, on Wednesday evening after he exchanged gunfire with that officer during a foot chase. That chase followed a police pursuit of a vehicle that began after officers, including Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor, observed someone driving recklessly on Interstate 65, police said.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in his statement that Taylor’s role as a material witness “constitutes a conflict of interest” for the prosecutor’s office.” He said a motion he filed in a county court requesting an independent prosecutor “is important to avoid the appearance of impropriety in this matter.”
“We believe it is important that an independent prosecutor enter the process now to ensure that they can provide an outside review throughout the investigation,” Mears said.
The shooting of Reed, 21, was followed by protests Wednesday and Thursday. It came within hours of Indianapolis police fatally shooting another black man, McHale Rose, 19, and an officer fatally striking a pregnant woman with his car. The woman was white.