INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) met this afternoon along with the Indy ten Point Coalition to address the surge in violence since 2012.
The FOP and the Indy Ten Point Coalition are commending the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) for their work. However, they are calling on state and local leaders for what they call a broken justice system.
“Our juvenile justice system is failing, our children, their parents, and our community,” said FOP President Rick Snyder.
Snyder is calling out for more action from state and local leaders after 2019 ended 2019 with 171 homicides and 152 murders. Many of those cases involved a victim or shooter under the age of 18.
“That’s why it’s so critically important that we have a strong juvenile justice system. But also strong intervention steps through the department of child services and our local child advocates as well,” said Snyder.
Snyder provided this list of recommendations that he believes should be addressed in order to move forward:
- Hear local leaders say they are outraged by the violence
- Provide a public review of low bond structures and the "Catch and Release" Criminal Justice System
- Every arrestee intake should be reviewed by a judge
- Publicly address the lack of accountability of violators in our local juvenile justice system
- Call upon statehouse and Governor to identify solutions to relieve local pressure felt by state mandates (addressing jail overcrowding)
- Establish a public database to track criminal histories to focus on prior convictions
- Analyze the disproportionate amount of black males related to murders and African American infant mortality rates
Snyder is also calling on the Mayor Hogsett to step up.
“We have to hear from him. He has to speak up, he has to say that this is unacceptable as the leader of our city,” said Snyder.
A family on the east side shares those same sentiments after their loved one was one of the first to be killed in 2019.
“Make their presence known, I know they try to do as much as they can but it’s not enough,” said Laquita Johnson-Hargrow.
Police say Johnson-Hargrow's nephew, 27-year-old Christopher Johnson, was found dead along with his friend in his west side home on Jan. 5, 2019.
“I was numb. I was numb for about three or four days,” said Hargrow.
A year later his murder is still unsolved.
“It’s excruciating pain to have someone so close to you taken in such a brutal way hurts beyond recognition,” said Hargrow.
The hurt lingers for families in Indianapolis that have lost loved ones. It's something the Ten Point Coalition and the FOP hope to change with the help from others.
“A lot of them are very gifted out there. but they are caught up in the cycle, and we gotta help break that cycle and get them out of that cycle,” said Indy Ten Point President Reverend Charles Harrison.
Both Harrison and Snyder say it's time to pull together all of the resources in the city so they can all work towards the common goal of combating gun violence.
If you have any information that can help find this family closure contact crime stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).