Belinda Drake’s Statement on Sean Reed Shooting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indianapolis, IN – (May 7, 2020) The shooting and death of Sean Reed yesterday is a terrible tragedy for the Northwest side, for the City of Indianapolis and for communities of color across the country. Black Hoosiers should not have to fear for their lives, only to have them ripped away through the use of force and violence.
As Hoosiers, we have a responsibility to recognize that Sean Reed is a victim of an ongoing American history where people of color are murdered without exception and without justice. He is a victim of a long history of events that just will not quit. He could have been any of us; our brothers and sisters, our parents or our grandparents and that stark reality is where the deep hurt resides for the black community. We continue to believe in the dream of a better American society while we simultaneously watch unnecessary violence take the lives of our brothers and sisters.
Sean Reed was a father, a son, a brother, an American, a veteran, and a patriot who proudly served his country in the US Airforce. His death has a shocking effect that ripples through the hearts of black parents across the country and especially those parents with sons. We must call upon both the Indiana State Police Department and the US Department of Justice to conduct an independent, timely, and thorough investigation into the death of Sean Reed so we can move towards justice.
I cannot imagine the dark cloud of despair and grief that must be felt by Sean’s family and his friends at this time. Their lives have been turned inside out and upended. I will continue to lift up Sean and his family in my prayers: you do not walk alone down this path. I know there is nothing that I can say that will console you at this time, but I do hope you find solace in the days and weeks to come. My deepest sympathies are with all of you.
Over the next few days, our community must unite around the principles of fairness and justice. The shock of Sean Reed’s death cannot become satiated by a mere hashtag that is consumed by the daily grind of the media cycle. We must become informed and engaged so we can advocate for solutions to this injustice. The State of Indiana has the unique ability to remedy inequalities but we must empower bold change.
In the days to come, I will launch a plan that is aimed at ending violence in Indiana and centers on how we can make a better LIFE* for all Hoosiers. As your Senator I will step up to protect people from unnecessary violence and offer real solutions for our communities.
The State legislature must pass legislation that mandates the use of body cams on LEOs statewide and couple that with progressive policies to document, store, and manage the video footage. We must invest in our police force through the initial and sustained training of police officers (including scenario-based training), decriminalize activities non-threatening to public safety, establish progressive approaches to mental health crises, and establish universal standards and reporting for the use of force.
The time has come for real work and progress on these issues. We have the ability to make change that saves lives and ends violence but we must have leaders who are willing to do this work.
About Belinda Drake for Indiana State Senate:
Belinda Drake is a progressive Democratic candidate for Indiana State Senate in District 32. Committed to putting people over politics, Belinda will serve her communities with a bold and inclusive vision to bring positive change and progress for the people of Senate District 32 and for all Hoosiers. Belinda was born and raised in Gary, IN, and has been a resident and member of the far eastside Indianapolis community for the last 3 years. Belinda graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science and a minor in legal studies from IUPUI and has worked on the campaign trail for United States Congressman Andre Carson, Indiana State Senator J.D. Ford, City Council Candidate Crista Carlino, and many other Democratic party candidates at the state and local levels. Belinda has served on the board for the Indiana Stonewall Democrats and as the treasurer for the Lawrence Township Democrats. Belinda currently serves as the 7th District Chair for the Indiana Young Democrats and as the Racial Justice & Diversity Coordinator for Indiana NOW (National Organization for Women). ###
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Believe in Belinda