INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In the last 50 days, the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police has counted 94 people shot, 38 people stabbed and 24 people killed.
That includes an officer-involved shooting Saturday morning that left a carjacking suspect in critical condition.
FOP President Rick Snyder is calling for more city leaders to express their outrage with the violence.
Local pastor Reverend David W. Greene Senior says it’s going take more than saying “stop the violence” to really get a handle on the growing problem in The Circle City.
Snyder says on average, 700-plus people are being shot in a calendar year.
“It’s surging and getting worse. It’s not getting any better by any means,” Snyder said.
Reverend Greene doesn’t take these numbers lightly either.
“A lot of it is because they feel like violence is the answer, and there is no other option. We got to begin to get other options in front of our community.”
Police say he was a suspect in a carjacking near the intersection of Wedgewood Drive and Lacy Drive.
They say officers gave 19-year-old Isaiah Batteast commands to drop the weapon, but he didn’t, and it resulted in an officer shooting him.
Police say Batteast didn’t have a license to carry the gun.
This case is why Reverend Greene has his gun buyback program to get guns off the street once a year.
“When somebody has a gun and they turn it over, it gets destroyed. That’s a lot better than the gun accidentally ending up in somebody’s hands,” Reverend Greene said.
Where Batteast got the rifle remains a mystery, but Greene says he’s doing his part to help curb the violence.
“There’s no silver bullet out there. If it was, we would have already implemented it. The challenge is how do we take multiple programs and work together as a community to make sure they are all successful so we have a safer community,” Reverend Greene said.
Snyder blames the uptick in violence on a broken catch and release system in Indianapolis.
VIOLENCE CONTINUES: Another person stabbed. Makes 3 shot and 2 stabbed in 10 hrs in Indy | Now least 94 people shot, 39 people stabbed, 24 people killed in last 50 days…That’s 133 people shot or stabbed!! | Still (0) Statements of Outrage from Local Leaders #WhereIsTheOutrage pic.twitter.com/6hns2FZhWC
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) December 28, 2019
“Many of the suspects that have been identified in the recent violence, as well as the victims, have criminal convention history for prior bad acts for violence,” said Snyder.
He says more city leaders should be outraged.
Greene says stopping the violence isn’t as simple as handing over a weapon. He says instead, it takes peeling apart layers and understanding why people resort to it.
“If we get 100 guns off the street this year, 100 next year, another 100 the following year, we are getting 300 guns of the street. Are we saying we don’t want them off the street? We need to wake up and recognize the impact of the gun violence,” Reverend Greene said.
Saturday’s officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the Critical Incident Response Team.
IMPD’s Internal Affairs Unit is conducting a parallel but separate investigation to ensure compliance with departmental policy.
Police say an executive review of the incident will occur after the involved officers have provided a compelled departmental statement.