Ind. officer sues NFL for defamation over social media posts

Officer De’Joure Mercer claims he suffered public scorn after the NFL posted publicly about a police shooting

By Suzie Ziegler 

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis police officer is suing the NFL over social media posts about the fatal police shooting of Dreasjon Reed, according to WISH-TV

Officer De’Joure Mercer shot and killed Reed after a pursuit and exchange of gunfire in May 2020, according to the report. Now, Mercer claims in a lawsuit filed Monday that the NFL wrongly accused him of police misconduct. Mercer was cleared by a grand jury last year, according to the Indianapolis Star

The lawsuit stems from an NFL campaign that paid tribute to people of color killed by police, including Reed. 

The suit, obtained by WISH-TV, says, “Despite a highly-publicized investigation and other information that clearly exculpated Mercer of all wrongdoing, all of which was publicly available and was in fact possessed by and known to one of the National Football League’s teams, the Indianapolis Colts, the NFLE (NFL Enterprises) published several online statements accusing Mercer of police misconduct.” 

Posts made on Twitter and Facebook were “a substantial factor in causing public hatred and scorn to perpetuate against Mercer,” the suit claims. 

The lawsuit also says the social media posts caused Mercer’s standing in the community to decline. 

The suit seeks unspecified damages from the NFL, according to the report.

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