UPDATE: Rebecca Geyer, the president-elect of the Indianapolis Bar Association, reached out to News 8 on Friday and provided the following statement:
My name is Rebecca Geyer, and I am President Elect of the Indianapolis Bar Association. I know you reached out to Julie Armstrong yesterday for a statement from IndyBar regarding the FOP’s vote of no confidence in the Marion County Prosecutor and the Marion County Courts. Julie asked that I reach out to you. The Indianapolis Bar Association believes that a dialogue to address problems between our police force, the judiciary and the Marion County Prosecutor, rather than votes of no confidence, will go much further in addressing the needs of our community. A vote of no confidence isn’t a solution and does not lead to progress in addressing the issues at hand. We are hopeful the parties can engage in meaningful discourse in the near future to analyze the root causes of the tragic death of Officer Noah Shahnavaz and attacks on other public safety officers in our community.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Members of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police have until the end of this week to cast their votes on a “no confidence” measure for Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.
They can also cast a “no confidence” vote on the Marion County judicial system.
“I think it sends a clear and convincing message to the public that regardless of the outcome the fact the vote is occurring and that our members have directed us in our leadership role to convene that vote is very significant,” said Rick Snyder, president of Fraternal Order of Police No 86.
In addition to representing the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the local FOP covers Indiana State Police, the sheriff’s office, and several other jurisdictions in Marion County.
Snyder said he called for the vote in the wake of the shooting death of Elwood Police Officer Noah Shanavaz in the line of duty on July 31. Prosecutors have sought the death penalty in the murder case. The suspect, Carl Roy Webb Boards II, served time in prison for shooting at an IMPD officer in 2006. However, he was released before finishing his entire sentence.
Snyder said, “We have time after time bonds that are artificially lowered, sometimes up to 95%, 97% for repeat violent felons who get back out and create more crime, violence.”
Snyder also expressed frustration with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for not seeking a hearing under Indiana’s red flag law that could have barred FedEx shooter Brandon Scott Hole from possessing a gun. The law allows authorities to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may be a danger to others or themselves.
Snyder said of the FedEx mass shooting, “There is an incident where 13 people were shot and eight lost their lives, and it was preventable, man.”
Shortly after the FedEx mass shooting, Mears said authorities didn’t pursue the “red flag” hearing because under Indiana law his office didn’t have enough time to prove Hole shouldn’t have a gun.
It should be noted, Snyder is backing Mears’ opponent in the general election, Republican Cyndi Carrasco, but he doesn’t see the vote of “no confidence” as a conflict.
Snyder said, “A ‘no confidence’ vote, officers are saying they have no confidence in the current prosecutor, that’s drastically different, and it’s telling the public that it’s above politics.”
In a response to an News 8 inquiry for comment Thursday, a spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office would only say that the “women and men of the office continue to focus on their jobs.”