The NFL has created a social justice initiative called ‘Inspire Change’ and on Wednesday the league honored 21-year-old Draesjon “Sean” Reed, who was shot and killed by Indianapolis police officer Dejoure Mercer in May.
According to police, Reed was driving recklessly on the interstate the day of his death as his car “almost struck other vehicles disobeying all traffic signals.” Police pursued him on a chase but ultimately backed off to keep bystanders safe. Reed live-streamed the entire pursuit on Facebook while singing along to music and smiling at the camera.
Reed then decided to pull into a parking lot, jump out of his car and lead officers on a foot chase disregarding all commands from the police. After reportedly being ineffectively tased, gunfire broke out and Reed fired at least two shots before Mercer returned fire killing him. He had three outstanding warrants at the time of his death, one for felony intimidation and two for stealing the gun he used.
Following the shooting, Reed’s firearm was forensically matched to shell casings from two recent drive-by shootings in Indianapolis and text messages from his phone confirmed his involvement in the drive-by’s.
Those facts are accessible to anyone with the Internet, but the NFL still moved forward with honoring Reed on Instagram telling people to ‘say his name.’ The post also included a quote from his mother: He deserves justice! He was a human being, a son, a brother, and a friend. He is my son and I love him.
A special grand jury in Indiana declined to prosecute Mercer in connection to Reed’s death citing “insufficient evidence.”