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FOP president, 10 Point leader demand meeting with mayor, prosecutor on surging violence

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Posted at 5:53 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 17:53:31-04

As homicides are on pace to set another year-end record, the president of the police union joined with a community activist in calling on the mayor, prosecutor and other Indianapolis leaders to work together to stop the killings.

“The violence is out of control,” the Rev. Charles Harrison said during a news conference Friday. “Together, we must come up with solutions in order to address what is driving the record-breaking violence.”

Harrison is the leader of the Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based group that works to curb violence in some city neighborhoods.

The Indianapolis Police Department has investigated 88 criminal homicides so far this year, up from 56 by May 14, 2020.

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The Rev. Charles Harrison (left) and FOP President Rick Snyder

Rick Snyder, the president of the Indianapolis Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said there have been nine killings in the past seven days.

“These are our residents, our neighbors, that are losing their lives and being affected by the violence,” Snyder said.

Snyder and Harrison called on Mayor Joe Hogsett, Prosecutor Ryan Mears others in justice system to meet with them and find ways to keep violent individual off the streets.

Harrison said community members would be less fearful and more willing to help police solve crimes if Marion County’s criminal justice system would close its “revolving door.”

“The revolving door, which is catch and release, particularly of our most foul and repeat felons,” Harrison said. “That creates some issues for us on the ground trying to address the violence.”

A spokesman for Prosecutor Mears declined comment.

Mark Bode, a spokesman for Hogsett, said the mayor is working with community groups, hiring more police and funding grass-roots efforts aimed at curbing violence.

“The city continues to work with community stakeholders to improve our violence reduction efforts,” Bode said in a statement emailed to WRTV.

He said the city is investing $4.6 million in neighborhood-based violence interventions, adding two new IMPD recruit classes, and expanding the community violence intervention team.

“It’s clear that ongoing communication will be key,” Bode said. “That’s why Mayor Hogsett is committed to continued dialogue with law enforcement partners, grassroots organizations and neighborhood groups in order to address this critical issue.

When asked directly if the mayor would meet with Harison and Snyder, Bode directed WRTV to his written comments.

Here's Bode's entire statement:

For the last five years, Mayor Hogsett has made public safety a top priority, working to build trust between the community and law enforcement and address violent crime in Marion County.

The city continues to work with community stakeholders to improve our violence reduction efforts — in 2021 alone we will invest $4.6 million in neighborhood-based violence interventions, add two new recruit classes of IMPD officers, and significantly expand our community violence intervention team.

It’s clear that ongoing communication will be key — and that’s why Mayor Hogsett is committed to continued dialogue with law enforcement partners, grassroots organizations, and neighborhood groups in order to address this critical issue.