WASHINGTON (WISH) — Police advocates from Indianapolis, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and other cities met Friday with President Trump to discuss local crime concerns.
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) leaders spent more than an hour briefing the president on violent crime trends, inadequate sentencing, dangers facing officers and calls for increased city accountability, according to Indianapolis FOP head Rick Snyder.
“I was able to share with the president that in the last 28 days, we’ve had at least 65 people shot [in Indianapolis]; 20 have been killed and 19 have been stabbed,” Snyder told News 8. “You could see that he was infuriated [by the rise in local homicides].”
Indianapolis FOP members had previously slammed top city officials’ violent crime reduction efforts as ineffective, especially at tackling recidivism.
For months, Snyder had waged a social media campaign to drum up community outrage in hopes of sparking action, tweeting news stories about local crime and using the hashtags #WheresTheOutrage and #IAmOutraged.
President Trump’s response Friday was encouraging, Snyder said.
“In the cabinet room, the president relayed his outrage,” Snyder told News 8. “And he was asking, ‘Where’s the outrage?’”
Buoyed by the president’s apparent support for tougher sentencing, Snyder called for increased police resources, investment in community-police partnerships, an overhaul of Indy’s juvenile justice system and elimination of $500 cash bond options for repeat violent offenders.
He described the practice of releasing suspects with prior convictions as a “broken catch-and-release system.”
“We’re putting people with prior convictions for violence and bad acts right back out onto the street where they are re-victimizing our community,” Snyder said during a press conference following the White House meeting. “We’re decriminalizing the criminals at the same time we’re de-policing the police.”
Jail capacity issues have contributed to increased “catch-and-release” methods in other cities, according to experts.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officials declined to comment. A spokesperson for the department referred questions from News 8 “back to the FOP.”
Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from News 8.
No immediate action was taken as a result of Friday’s meeting but the president vowed to “keep the conversation going,” Snyder said.