‘Today is a celebration of life.’ Family, friends remember Dreasjon Reed and McHale Rose

The community came together at 62nd Street and Michigan Road to remember Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Indianapolis Star

If the past few weeks in Indianapolis have been hard to live through, Saturday afternoon was a reminder to celebrate life. 

More specifically, the lives of Dreasjon Reed and McHale Rose. 

Roughly 200 people gathered at the intersection of 62nd Street and Michigan Avenue, the area where Reed was fatally shot by police last month. Within 24 hours, police shot and killed Rose while responding to a burglary. Police have said both men were armed.

But for at least a few hours Saturday, the scene in the lot of the public library offered some respite from the racial strife that has rocked the city and the nation. 

An abundance of food was prepared to feed those who attend the event. Members of the community gathered at the Indianapolis Public Library branch at 62nd Street and Michigan Road for a celebration of life event to honor Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020.

An abundance of food was prepared to feed those who attend the event. Members of the community gathered at the Indianapolis Public Library branch at 62nd Street and Michigan Road for a celebration of life event to honor Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020. (Photo: Doug McSchooler/for IndyStar)

Music for all generations blasted through the speakers as people lined up for a family-style cookout. 

Attendees mouthed the words to “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross. Toddlers ran around in rainbow tutus as a younger crowd danced to Dem Franchize Boyz. Shirts plastered with “I am Dreasjon Reed” filled the crowd. 

“I appreciate everyone and anyone that has anything to do in a positive manner for my son,” said Reed’s mother, Demetree Wynn, as she thanked the crowd. “Just remember to do everything in love and everything in peace.”

Demetree Wynn, mother of Dreasjon Reed, talks with supporters at an event where members of the community gathered at the Indianapolis Public Library branch at 62nd Street and Michigan Road for a celebration of life event to honor Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020.

Demetree Wynn, mother of Dreasjon Reed, talks with supporters at an event where members of the community gathered at the Indianapolis Public Library branch at 62nd Street and Michigan Road for a celebration of life event to honor Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020. (Photo: Doug McSchooler/for IndyStar)

The celebration was one of several that occurred Saturday as Indianapolis attempted to heal.

Protesters still rallied at Monument Circle throughout the day. 

On the east side, the family of Chris Beaty — who was killed during the downtown riot on May 30 — put him to rest. 

In the parking lot library, Chicago resident Curtis Mays danced with abandon. Mays’ sister, who lives in Indianapolis, knew Reed. 

A volunteer shows off his T-shirt. Members of the community gathered at the Indianapolis Public Library branch at 62nd Street and Michigan Road for a celebration of life event to honor Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020.

A volunteer shows off his T-shirt. Members of the community gathered at the Indianapolis Public Library branch at 62nd Street and Michigan Road for a celebration of life event to honor Dreasjon Reed on Saturday, June 13, 2020. (Photo: Doug McSchooler/for IndyStar)

But even from Chicago, Mays watched in horror on Facebook Live as Reed was pursued and shot. 

“It just like, broke my heart because that could have been one of my nephews that’s older than me or my uncles or my brothers,” Mays said. “And it’s just like — it’s just wrong.”

It’s the same reason Michelle Smith and her daughter, Shamika Hayworth, came out. They worry about their son and grandson, 12-year-old Elijah. 

“When he gets to be 18, 19 years old, we’ve got to worry about him when he comes out here in the streets,” Smith said. “You could be innocent, you know — you never know. That’s the thing you never know when your young Black men leave home, are they going to make it back home?”


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