INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Downtown is much quieter Thursday evening after hundreds of protestors blocked the streets around the City-County Building since noon. Traffic has been blocked and police were forced to move due to the crowds.
It started as a peaceful protest, but you have to understand tensions are high and there were a lot of emotions due to the nature of the situation.
At one point, protestors were standing in the middle of the street and standing on top of cars while chanting. They say their main goal was to ensure justice is served and their voices are heard.
“I just feel we need to get some type of justice. This has been going on for too long. And we need to get some justice for this man who was killed and gunned down. And if we don’t stand for anything, we will fall for everything,” said protestor, Rose Maxey.
Tensions begin to arise less than 24-hours after 21-year-old Dreasjon Reed was shot and killed by an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department after a police chase. This incident prompted a protest at the City-County Building which is also police headquarters.
“We can’t get him back ain’t no justice for him being gone. Forever. Ain’t no justice for that,” said Reed’s sister, Jazmine Reed.
His father and sister were amid the protestors asking for what others in attendance want, ‘justice.’ His father Jamie walked us through the raw emotion he felt seeing his son shot to death on Facebook Live.
“I was crushed. I just…it gives me a whole nother disrespect for the police. We’re not being protected and served we’re being hunted,” said Reed’s father, Jamie Reed.
We asked his father if it mattered that the officer involved in his son’s death was African American.
“Doesn’t change nothing. He’s part of them. Regardless of his skin color when you put that uniform on, you’re one of them,” said Jamie Reed.
We also asked about the remarks, a detective made about it being a closed casket funeral.
“It makes no sense how you can make comments like that in a situation of that magnitude it makes no sense it’s just crazy,” said Reed.
As the family shares their grief, protesters began to disburse and block the streets. As police served as a barrier. But the crowd and the chants grew louder, as they hoped to send a clear message through the sign that was held.
At one point the protest moved from the City-County Building to Monument Circle. Then to Washington and Delaware Streets where protestors stood on top of cars, outnumbering police with signs.
One protestor, Allanna Williams, is from Hazelwood, Mo. She says she was part of the riots in protests in Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown in 2014.
“It’s just sad after all these years people are fighting and all they want is justice and no one’s listening. And for me, it’s different because I’m a white woman and I don’t face that directly. But I feel like it’s my job and duty to stand up for that and to fight for that,” said protestor, Allanna Williams.
It’s a fight that hundreds are joining, hoping for justice in the case of Dreasjon Reed.
“God bless this family and we gone keep fighting this time y’all,” said protestor Erica Bailey.
IMPD Chief Randall Taylor asked the protestors to give him time and know that he will seek the truth whether they are right or wrong.