INDIANAPOLIS – One week ago, in an exclusive interview with FOX59/CBS4, the superintendent of Indiana State Police called for a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system.
ISP Superintendent Doug Carter was outraged by the bond set for a man charged after a crash that killed three people on September 26, and the Indianapolis Bar Association pushed back against his comments.
Now, another police group is joining the conversation.
Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder told reporters the city just reached 900 people shot or stabbed since the beginning of this year, underscoring his and Carter’s message that something needs to change.
“This system is broken. It’s badly, badly broken,” Carter told FOX59/CBS4 on September 29.
The state police leader’s blunt comments put some members of law enforcement and IndyBar at odds.
“Damn it, this is not okay,” Carter said on September 29. “I am just so tired and so sick of it.”
Early Friday morning, the Indianapolis FOP joined the conversation in support of Superintendent Carter.
“Officers have been dying, residents have been dying, and Indianapolis deserves better,” Snyder said.
It began with a car crash that killed three people, for which 19-year-old Luis Leyba-Gonzalez now faces three counts of resisting law enforcement resulting in death. He was given a $1,000 cash bond with a $50,000 surety bond, which outraged Carter – but Synder said it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I apologize for my frustration, but we have been talking about this for four years,” Snyder said. “What we need officials to do is get up off their ass and take some action.”
Snyder said they want to see a balance between the safety of the public and the rights of the accused. IndyBar condemned the remarks made by Carter last week, saying the resulting inferences are dangerous – and that the judge set an appropriate bond given the circumstances.
“I would say this to the Bar Association – rather than run around and spend so much time trying to protect your judges and your fellow lawyers, why don’t you get around a table and help find some solutions and save some lives,” Snyder responded. “It’s been four years. Let’s do the math – that’s 800 to 1,000 lives that have been lost in the four years they’ve refused to come to the table.”
Snyder argues the issue lies with the county bond matrix itself – which was reevaluated several years ago.
“We’re not talking about locking everybody up and throwing away the key, we’re not talking about high-level bonds for low-level offenses, we’re talking about fairness for repeat, violent offenders and a balance of bonds and decisions about release on crimes that involve death,” Snyder explained.
FOX59/CBS4 spoke with a Hamilton County judge who weighed in.
“The statute court rule follows the constitution of the state of Indiana and of the United States,” Fishers City Court Judge Dan Henke said. “What that amount is, is always up to the discretion of the judge.”