INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Threats have been made against several police officers and their families at the Indianapolis Police Department.
Since last Wednesday, there have been 26 confirmed instances of threats made against officers.
The threats appear to be linked to two recent fatal officer involved shootings. The first was the shooting of Dreasjon Reed, 21, and the second was McHale Rose, 19.
IMPD Chief Randall Taylor has said that the threats made were being taken seriously. He said:
“These are not people I think are willing to sit down discuss their concerns. They would rather go out and make these threats.”
CONFIRMATION from Indy Chief of Police that at least 26 separate threats upon police officers and their families are being investigated | INDY MAYOR and other elected officials refuse to condemn threats (WHY??) #CopsRemember https://t.co/904gTWVUHl
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) May 14, 2020
Taylor also said that there will surely be consequences against the people making the threats:
“We certainly don’t want to get into arguments or physical altercations with anybody, but if you’re gonna go to an officer’s house and make those kinds of threats on their family or something like that, we’re not just gonna stand by and let that happen.”
Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder, who has been very vocal on the threats as well as the absurd amount of violence in his area on social media, said:
“Oftentimes the only way you can combat true violence toward you is countering that with violence. That’s an unfortunate reality in the world we live in today.
“One, you have people openly out on the street, in front of officers and in front of groups openly advocating for the murder of police officers. We know of people who are standing and talking about ways to proactively be able to attack and murder police officers, and then try to get away so they themselves are not harmed.”
LIVE AT 5: 26 threats made against IMPD officers since the two fatal officer-involved shootings last week. @IMPD_Chief says those making threats don’t want to meet in the middle. He’s ready to talk.@RickFOP86 says this is not acceptable, elected officials need to speak up. pic.twitter.com/WIhlNL50KU
— Darius Johnson (@DariusJohnsonTV) May 14, 2020
IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said that the threats are disappointing, but also pointed out that he believes the majority of residents support the police.
“The threats and even the overt acts where people have shown up at officers’ houses and videotaped family members, that is just unacceptable.”
One specific incidents of threats made was via Facebook post, where a person showed a patrol vehicle in an officer’s driveway.
As if police don’t already have a hard enough job, now their Chief has had to make a YouTube video giving them more tips on how to stay safe in light of these threats.
The Chief advised officers to search Google Maps on their own address and advise on whether their residence show a marked police car. He also suggests officers remove identifying social media posts.
He said in the video:
“Continue to be aware of your surroundings, wait for your back-up and don’t take any run as simply routine.”
The Chief has also said to the community:
“Please, let’s work through this with our words and not our fists or anything else like that. Let’s be cautious and be willing to sit down and really discuss what the issues are and what are the concerns of the community. How can we help? I’m always willing to listen.”
Snyder has spoken out regarding the lack of comments on the threats from city officials. He said:
“I have seen one City-County councilor speak out about these threats and rebuke them and that’s Councilor Paul [Annee.”
INDY MAYOR REMAINS SILENT while dozens of deadly threats are made toward police officers and their families | Elected Officials refuse to condemn threats and acts of violence. Clear and Convincing Message Sent by Silence #Shameful #CopsRemember https://t.co/HGw00U787Q
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) May 15, 2020
On Twitter, he has said:
“INDY MAYOR REMAINS SILENT while dozens of deadly threats are made toward police officers and their families | Elected Officials refuse to condemn threats and acts of violence. Clear and Convincing Message Sent by Silence #Shameful #CopsRemember”
Mayor Joe Hogsett has announced that he plans on purchasing body cams for the officers for transparency in investigations regarding officer involved shootings.
On a radio show called The Hammer and Nigel Show, they pointed out that Snyder had requested body cams for the officers months prior:
“475 days ago, Rick Snyder, President of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of the Police, stood in front of a podium and called upon city leadership to protect our officers by making the investment in technology such as body cameras, public safety cameras, and gunshot detection systems.
“Unfortunately, Mayor Hogsett failed to heed that call to action, which left IMDP officers vulnerable to accusations of improper use of force, racism, and in the matter of the Sean Reed shooting, murder.”
On body cameras, Snyder said on the radio show:
“The Mayor’s comments gave the impression that the investment is specifically in response to the Reed shooting.
“That is false. It is not true and we need to be upfront about it. We made clear last January that it’s going to cost $15-20 million for this total technology investment [so] be upfront about it.”
The mayor apparently claimed that it would only cost $1.2 million to equip the officers with cameras.
“The problem [the FOP has] is that we get this announcement under the title of ‘Police Reforms’ at a time when our city is on edge, and it suggests and casts dispersions on the immediate events that just occurred last week. That is inappropriate given those investigations are still underway.
FULL STATEMENT from Indy FOP following today’s announcement by Indy Mayor, Council President and Chief of Police pic.twitter.com/JDcxPnOXix
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) May 12, 2020
“IMPD has been talking about body-worn cameras since as far back as 2014 and before. Now suddenly, on the heels of [the Reed shooting], we’re making this rash announcement. It should have been done a long time ago.
“We have videos of people stalking officers’ homes. We have videos of people openly threatening the murder of our officers. And not one word – not one – from an elected official in our city.
“And here’s the thing. They all know about it, but they refuse to acknowledge it. What does that tell you about us as a society?”
The Hammer and Nigel Show’s comments on the whole situation are as follows:
“[T]oday’s announcement looks more like a desperate attempt to appease a very disruptive and potentially explosive group of people in our community who appear to require constant reassurance that law enforcement officers aren’t behaving like a bunch of racist, redneck thugs whenever they encounter a person of color.
“Today, under the unofficial banner of ‘police reforms,’ our Mayor chose to embolden the angry, sometimes violent, and completely illogical protestors who are responding to the Sean Reed shooting – a suspect with a criminal history, two outstanding warrants, and a penchant for posting Facebook videos of himself indiscriminately firing his semi-automatic weapon in residential neighborhoods. What a guy.”
Again, the Dreasjon Reed shooting coverage from Law Enforcement Today can be found HERE.
Police say that less than eight hours after Reed was shot, they were forced to kill another man who they say opened fire on officers as they responded to a burglary call.
Officers say 19-year-old McHale Rose appears to have made that call himself — “with the intention of initiating an ambush-style attack on the officers when they arrived.”
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