State Violence: A Public Statement by the Kheprw Institute

Dreasjon Reed was killed on Wednesday May 6th, his murder recorded on Facebook live. Over the course of 24 hours, 3 people were killed by IMPD. They were McHale Rose, Ashlynn Lisby and her unborn child in addition to Dreasjon. The Kheprw Institute grieves with the rest of the families and the community at large and remains steadfast in our belief that all Black lives matter. We support the protests and the efforts to make these atrocities more visible through these methods. As civil rights leader, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr saidA riot is the language of the unheard.” With the recent murder of George Floyd, we also stand in solidarity and support of Minneapolis residents and their efforts for justice and accountability.

However, the voices and cries of Black people and allies calling for accountability and justice have continued to be unheard by all parties and institutions responsible for state violence. With the murder of 16-year-old Michael Taylor in 1987  to Aaron Bailey’s murder in 2017, the officers responsible were not held accountable in criminal court despite the families being awarded damages in civil court. This is a pattern repeated, from Emmett Till to Sandra Bland. The deaths of Black people at the hand of the state is not a new story. It is a tiring, traumatic, and exhausting one but not one that is unfamiliar. We also recognize that state violence has existed in this country from enslavement of African peoples four hundred years ago to mass incarceration today. The challenge is not just limited to the police. Redlining, food apartheid, housing injustice, exploitation of labor, and environmental injustice are all examples of state-sanctioned` violence. This history of state violence, especially in Black, brown and Indigenous communities, are directly tied to how these communities are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This fight is a long one. This is a moment where our movements are compromised by dissent, informants and infiltrators. We should not be distracted from the importance of leadership, particularly the emerging young leaders, many of the protesters are friends and peers of Dreasjon, stepping into calling for accountability and justice for their friend. It is also critical to take lessons from yesterday to protect their efforts to organize. Communities have consistently organized to address the issue of police brutality, through dedicated and relentless calls for accountability and justice. At Kheprw Institute, we seek to address the long history of state violence, in all of its forms, through our work in institution building, self-determination, relationship building especially for Black, Brown and underrepresented communities and support of the leadership efforts in our communities to address its injustices. We must stay steadfast in utilizing those tools to mitigate/reduce the impact of state violence in our communities but understand that a transformation in our society that centers the value of all Black lives is fundamental.

Further Readings/Resources

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Indigenous People’s History of the United States

The New Jim Crow

Charleston Syllabus


13TH (Netflix Link)

The Destruction of Black Wall Street: The Tulsa Riot | History Teaching Institute

I’m From Philly. 30 Years Later, I’m Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing

The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War (Video)

The 1619 Project




For more information contact Kheprw Institute at or (317) 329-4803 ext. 775