Almost overnight, it seems like there’s been a return to the open season on Black people type of feeling that was regularly inescapable last decade. The police shooting of Sean Reed in Indianapolis on Wednesday and Thursday only fortified that revived feeling as protests broke out that were reminiscent of those when Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, six summers ago.
There were chants of “No Justice, No Peace” and others insisting that “Black Lives Matter” as dozens of protesters took to the Indianapolis street where Reed was gunned down while he live-streamed the entire episode vis his Facebook account. The video was preserved and showed Reed running away from police when he was apparently Tasered before viewers hear multiple shots ring out and see the 21-year-old man fall out of sight from the camera. While police moved in on Reed after shooting him, the still-recording Facebook Live captured the cops joking about killing him.
The combination of yet more violence against Black people by a police department dogged by accusations of racism along with officers mocking the death prompted the chant of “Murder, murder,” during the protest Wednesday night. “We need to see somebody go to prison,” protesters said in unison.
One activist at Wednesday night’s protest told the Indianapolis Star that Reed “deserved better. We deserve better. I am disgusted, horrified, tired and angry. This is why we need a new use of force policy. It is imperative. We can not hold these killers accountable when the use of force makes it legal.”
The anger over Reed’s killing was exacerbated by the fact that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has a bad track record with policing the city’s Black residents, especially in recent months. That could be why a woman who identified herself to protesters Wednesday night as Reed’s aunt implored them to react with nonviolence, according to the Indianapolis Recorder.
“Just be peaceful,” she said. “We’re just trying to get answers.”
But a leader from the New African Black Panther Party had a different message for protesters.
“All power to the people,” Kwame Shakur chanted before adding: “F–k 12,” a reference to police.
One leader from a local anti-gun group offered a similar sentiment to the protesters.
“They trynna kill us,” Ron Gee said. “And they don’t want us to do nothin’ about it.”
Scroll down to see additional powerful photos from the protests Wednesday night and Thursday that were posted on social media as well as some taken by the All317Hiphop Indianapolis culture blog that granted permission for iOne Digital to use.
25. Protesters gather for Sean ReedSource:All317Hiphop
Protesters gather after 21-year-old Sean Reed was shot and killed by Indianapolis police. sean reed