Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Police Mock Sean Reed’s Body After Killing Him on Facebook Live

In Indianapolis, two police officers murdered Sean Reed who was broadcasting on Facebook Live. Thousands of viewers listened as Reed was shot 13 times by officers who then said, “I think it’s going to be a closed casket homie.” 

Kimberly Ann

May 11, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share

On May 6, Indianapolis Police shot and killed Sean Reed, an army veteran, while thousands watched on his Facebook livestream. The officers on the scene first used a taser and then shot Reed 13 times. Afterwards, the officers can be heard laughing and one officer says, “I think it’s going to be a closed casket homie.” 

Earlier in the evening, police say they saw Reed’s car driving erratically down the interstate and began to follow him. While driving, Reed went onto Facebook Live and asked for his viewers to, “Please come get me!”  A high-speed police chase ensued. After stopping his car, Reed ran out and was pursued by the officers on foot. Still streaming, the video became shakier as Reed presumably tucked his phone away while running. As the video went on, viewers heard the sounds of screaming, a taser, and then 13 gunshots.

The Police Department of Indianapolis has since put the officers in question on administrative leave pending investigation. At this time their identities have not been disclosed but the department has claimed they are Black men. The fact that Reed was armed at the time of his murder is being used as justification for the decision to gun him down. 

The situation is all too familiar. As the prolonged nationwide quarantines drags on, police brutality and violence against the Black community is increasing. In New York City, NYPD is disproportionately targeting Black neighborhoods to police new social distancing policies. In Georgia, two men shot and killed a Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, while he was jogging in a suburban neighborhood. It took the state two months to charge the men involved, despite video evidence and testimonials from the murderers themselves. Reed’s murder in Indianapolis is just another act of violence carried out by a racist institution. 

More and more in the public discourse, these murders are being labeled as “modern lynchings.” Violence against the Black community never ended — it just took on a different shape, under legal frameworks like the Stand Your Ground Laws. During the 100 years following the Civil War, 99% of the perpetrators of mob violence were never held accountable. In 2015, more Black people were killed by the police than by lynch mobs during the heydey of Jim Crow. While all of these state-sanctioned murders occur against predominantly Black men, ask yourself this: How many of these murderers were sent to jail? How many were even fired from the Police Department? An internal investigation looking into a racist institution that is done from within its own ranks will never hold itself or its members accountable.

Many Indianapolis residents have gathered to protest the actions of the police force. The day after Reed’s death, almost 200 people gathered in a prayer vigil to protest. The protestors wore masks and some stayed in their car to practice social distancing, blocking the intersection of West 62nd Street, the site of his death. The victim’s father, Jamie Reed, said, “It just shows me that we’re not really being protected and served. We’re being hunted.” 

 As the coronavirus continues, more and more state governments are turning to police and military apparatuses to violently discipline their citizens. The victims of this growing state violence are overwhelmingly working-class and Black. We demand that the United States government end its violent assault on these communities. We demand justice for Sean Reed and all victims of state violence.

Facebook Twitter Share

Kimberly Ann

Kimberly is an educator and writer for Left Voice

United States

20 Years Since the U.S. Invasion of Iraq: A Reflection from a Socialist in the Heart of Imperialism

A Left Voice member and anti-war activist reflects on the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and how he learned to hate U.S. imperialism.

Sam Carliner

March 20, 2023

Train Derailment in Metro Detroit Illustrates That Capitalist Control of the Railroads Is Fundamentally Unsafe

With the capitalists in control of the railroads, they will destroy the environment and poison and kill workers. The catastrophe in East Palestine will not be the last if we don’t nationalize our railroads and put the safety of people and the environment over profit.

Emma Boyhtari

February 28, 2023
East Palestine, Ohio in the distance at night, smoke and fire springing up due to the train derailment.

The Ohio Train Disaster Is on Biden’s Hands

Just months after President Biden and Congress blocked railway workers from striking over dangerous working conditions, the exact type of disaster that workers predicted has come to pass. The fate of East Palestine must be a wake-up call for the labor and climate movements to fight for the nationalization of the railroads under workers’ control.

B.C. Daurelle

February 15, 2023
US President Joe Biden speaks during a State of the Union address with US Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, right, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. Biden is speaking against the backdrop of renewed tensions with China and a brewing showdown with House Republicans over raising the federal debt ceiling.

Biden’s Populist Speech Can’t Cover Up Capitalist Crisis

Biden tried to paint a picture of a United States that has come back stronger after the pandemic. But despite his populist rhetoric and laundry list of policies, none of these measures can address the real needs of the vast majority of the working class and poor who have been exploited and oppressed for much longer than the last two years.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

February 8, 2023


Protesters gather during a demonstration on Place de la Concorde in Paris on March 17, 2023, the day after the French government pushed a pensions reform using the article 49.3 of the constitution. - French President's government on March 17, 2023 faced no-confidence motions in parliament and intensified protests after imposing a contentious pension reform without a vote in the lower house. Across France, fresh protests erupted in the latest show of popular opposition to the bill since mid-January.

Battle of the Pensions: Toward a Pre-Revolutionary Moment in France

President Macron's use of article 49.3 to push through an unpopular pension reform bill has opened up an enormous political crisis that has changed the character of the mobilizations against the French government. We are entering a "pre-revolutionary moment" that can change the balance of power between the classes in France.

Juan Chingo

March 21, 2023

It is Possible to Win: The Pension Reform Crisis in France

A French socialist reflects on the way forward after Macron invites Article 49.3 to pass pension reform.

Paul Morao

March 20, 2023

“We are your economy”: Trans Youth Walkout and Speak Out

The following is a speech by a young trans person as part of an action called for by NYC Youth for Trans Rights.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

March 20, 2023
Three tables full of food, with signs hung above them. One says "The People's Pantry: FREE FOOD." Banners hung from the tables say "Free CUNY" and "Cop Free School Zone"

CUNY Administration Cracks Down on Student and Worker-Run Food Pantry

Students and workers opened "The People's Pantry" seven weeks ago as part of a broader anti-austerity campaign at CUNY, leading to several direct confrontations with the administration.

Olivia Wood

March 19, 2023