INDIANAPOLIS–A decision on whether to charge the Indianapolis Police officer who shot and killed Sean Reed Wednesday will not be made by Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. He says he’s asked the court to appoint a special prosecutor because of concerns in the community.
“Many people in the community have expressed concern about the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office playing a role in this investigation considering the close working relationship…with IMPD,” said Mears. “Those concerns are only heightened because Chief Randy Taylor is a material witness in this case.”
Taylor was one of the officers to chase Reed before he bailed, police say, pulled a gun and shot at officers.
Audio of the shooting and what happened afterward was streamed on Reed’s Facebook account, while the phone cam was turned up skyward.
An IMPD detective can be heard saying, “Looks like it’s gonna be a closed casket, homie.” Protests followed Chief Taylor’s Thursday news conference in which he detailed some of Reed’s criminal history, and said investigators believe a gu found nearby was Reed’s and that it had been fired.
The prosecutor’s identity will not be kept confidential, said Mears in his filing with the court, to make the process transparent.
“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,” Prosecutor Mears added.
The independent prosecutor’s role will be to oversee and consult with IMPD throughout the investigative process. This request does not impact if an outside agency is appointed to handle the investigation, a decision that would come from IMPD or the Office of the Mayor of Indianapolis.
Mayor Joe Hogsett said he contacted the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI to monitor the investigation.
“It is clear to me that more must be done to provide community confidence in the outcome of these processes,” he said, noting that he has confidence in the chief and IMPD to carry out a fair investigation.
He also promised transparency.