INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — None of the police officers who recently have been shot at were hit by gunfire.
But, the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police is pointing at these recent shootings as a wake-up call that the justice system is failing everyone, letting crime suspects out of jail too early.
“We’ve had three (officers) that have been shot at, had shots fired, in a matter of less than 10 days,” said Rick Snyder, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 86.
Police are almost constantly in the crosshair of a bad guy’s gun, but it is rare in Indianapolis, until recently, that someone pulls the trigger on a cop.
In every recent incident, the suspect who shoots at a cop is out of jail on bond for another crime. Snyder said Jason Craft fired a gun into the ground when police responded Feb. 8 to a domestic situation at a home in the 3100 block of Brickenwood Lane on the southeast side. According to court records, Craft is well-traveled in the court system.
Craft was charged with criminal recklessness with deadly weapon, pointing a firearm at another and carrying a handgun without a license. Two days later, he was released. His next court hearing is set for Feb. 24 in Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 18. Online jail records show the 30-year-old was released by court order.
“And then they also had indigent counsel appointed, and there is some question that he even had to pay the $500 bond (for his release from jail). Regardless, the worst-case scenario was 500 bucks, and he cycled right back out into the neighborhood,” Snyder said.
Herein lies the problem, according to Snyder: The suspect is released back into the community, back into the neighborhood, which may prove to be a disservice to everyone.
“If he comes back out and reoffends or becomes a victim himself, most would contend that was a preventable incident. Let alone if our officers have to get called back there, if they’re further attacked or injured or worse” Synder said.
The Fraternal Order of Police is asking for an audit of repeat offenders, those who are turned back into the community and commit additional crimes, ones that the FOP says could be prevented.