IMPD officer who shot Dreasjon Reed sues NFL

Indianapolis Area Crime

UPDATE:

The IMPD officer who shot Dreasjon Reed has dropped his lawsuit against the National Football League for defamation over the league’s social justice campaign.

ORIGINAL STORY:

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis police officer who shot and killed Dreasjon Reed last year is suing the National Football League over material published online that associated Reed with other civil rights figures killed by police.

IMPD officer De’Joure Mercer filed the complaint Monday in federal Southern District of Indiana Court. It targets website posts and video produced by the NFL that highlight Reed and other figures in a campaign intended to “honor victims of systemic racism, victims of police misconduct, and social justice heroes.”

“The (v)ideo gives rise to the inference, implication, and imputation that Mercer committed occupational misconduct and even criminal acts during the May 6 (e)ncounter with Reed, similar to that which were inflicted upon George Floyd,” Mercer’s lawyer writes in the complaint. “This inference, implication, and imputation is false because Mercer committed no such acts.”

Mercer’s attorney, Guy A. Relford, released the following statement:

De’Joure Mercer is a hero. He tracked down a very dangerous criminal wanted by the police, who was a threat to the citizens of Indianapolis. He put his life on the line and was nearly killed in that effort. He was completely exonerated after an exhaustive investigation into the death of Mr. Reed. For NFL Enterprises then to suggest he was involved in police or racist misconduct is totally false, defamatory and unacceptable. What happened here has nothing to do with racism.  

While we support NFL Enterprises’ efforts to address social justice issues, Officer Mercer is taking a stand for the many, many good cops on duty across America. He is standing up for his friends and colleagues and sending a message that before you accuse a decorated police officer of misconduct in a national campaign, you had better get your facts straight.

Guy A. Relford

FOX59 reached out to the NFL for comment but has not heard back.

Continue reading this story with our newsgathering partners at The Indianapolis Star.

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