INDIANAPOLIS, Ind — The president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police Tuesday criticized the city’s response to a weekend shooting that left three adults and three juveniles injured in downtown Indianapolis.
“Where is the outrage?” Rick Snyder said in an afternoon news conference. “Where are our elected, departmental, business and civic leaders declaring that violence such as this is unacceptable in our community?”
Snyder, along with Reverend Charles Harrison of Indy Ten Point Coalition, called for action to help prevent outbreaks of violence like the downtown Saturday night shooting. Detectives believe the shooting started as a fight near the intersection of Maryland and Illinois between two groups of juveniles and then escalated to gunfire. IMPD released a photo of a person of interest in the shooting, and investigators are still working to track the individual down.
Snyder said a shooting of such magnitude should have prompted a much louder response from community leaders.
“Point me too the strong statements of outrage that have come from an elected leader in our community. You can’t do it,” Snyder said. “Point me to the strong statement of outrage that came from our police department. You can’t do it.”
IMPD Major Kendale Adams said the police department is outraged and heartbroken over any act of violence in the city.
“The men and women of the police department, the community, work very hard every day to ensure that our citizens are safe and mitigate any violence that can occur,” Adams said.
Snyder also said the officers he represents are growing frustrated by repeatedly arresting the same individuals for committing the same crimes around the city. He said that was the result of a “catch and release” criminal justice system.
“Pointing a firearm; you can get a $500 cash bond, never even appear before a judge to even look at your prior criminal history, and you’re going to get kicked back out onto the streets,” Snyder said.
Reverend Harrison called on city leaders to restore grant funding so Indy Ten Point Coalition can organize community groups to patrol downtown streets every weekend of the year.
“It has worked in the past, for some reason we have stopped doing it,” Harrison said. “And we need to bring it back and provide the kind of necessary resources that will allow us to keep people downtown and in our neighborhoods safe.”
Harrison said young people know Ten Point Coalition will be downtown for large events like this weekend’s Circle City Classic or in the wake of a shooting like last weekend. He said young people have learned to “wait out” police and community groups.
“So the kids are probably not come downtown for while,” Harrison said. “They know, ultimately, the police can not maintain a heavy police presence over long period of time. So once that is over, they’re going to come back downtown.”
Harrison said most young people coming to the downtown area are just looking to have a good time, but it only takes a few to start trouble that can affect many people. He also called on parents to know where their children are and know who’s watching them.
“If you’re going to let your children come downtown, please provide supervision for them,” Harrison said. “It is not the role of law enforcement and community groups to babysit your children.”