An Indianapolis Colts player is set to honor Dreasjon Reed, a man with a long criminal history who was killed in May during a shootout with the police.
The NFL announced that a Colts player would honor Reed by wearing a sticker on his helmet with the 22-year-old’s name on it as part of the league’s #SayTheirStories campaign to bring attention to police violence.
The Colts said that linebacker Mathew Adams would wear the decal with Reed’s name.
The league’s tweet features a quote from Reed’s mother, Demetree Wynn, who exclaimed, “[Reed] deserves justice! He was a human being, a son, a brother, and a friend. He is my son, and I love him.”
Say His Name: Dreasjon Reed
Dreasjon is one of the many individuals being honored by players and coaches this season through the NFL’s helmet decal program.#SayTheirStories: https://t.co/vwi75WmNxr pic.twitter.com/wWaasw6LBp
— NFL (@NFL) December 16, 2020
Reed was killed by the Indianapolis police on May 6. An investigation by the Indiana State Police showed that officers began pursuing Reed after he endangered the public through reckless driving. The officers followed at a distance so as to not cause even more danger to innocent pedestrians and motorists. Police pursued Reed on foot after he bailed out of his car.
While it’s unclear who shot first, Reed clearly fired at the police. Investigators found two shell casings from Reed’s weapon and 13 casings from the weapon of the pursuing officer. Video from Reed’s phone shows shell casings flying in two different directions.
“Almost exactly at the same time, two, we know two shots were fired. That can’t happen unless two different shooters are shooting,” said Indiana State Police Lt. Jeff Herron explained.
The investigation also found that the shooting began after the pursuing officer tased Reed.
“He actually tases him at the same time Mr. Reed is actually starting to pull his firearm out,” Herron said.
“Mr. Reed basically goes down on his stomach and then he turns, basically in that same position onto his, basically onto his buttocks and he follows and it appears he follows Officer Mercer as he’s moving,” Herron concluded.
The investigation also found still shots showing Reed stealing the gun from a pawn shop in Texas, and text messages in which Reed detailed his involvement in two drive-by shootings.
The officer who shot Reed was not charged with any crime.
This isn’t the first time that the NFL has paid tribute to a dangerous criminal. In September, Steeler lineman Maurkice Pouncey ended up regretting wearing the name of Antwon Rose, Jr.’s, name on his helmet.
Pouncey admitted that he only had “limited facts” about Rose, who was killed in an encounter with the police in June of 2018.
The NFL characterized Rose as an innocent who was killed by the police. But the league did not inform fans of all the facts. For instance, Rose was involved in a drive-by shooting before he was pulled over. The drive-by shooting victim told police Rose was the shooter, so the police had every reason to assume that Rose was armed and dangerous.
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