Crime Guns fired at or near police 3 times in 3 weeks

19:45  14 february  2020
19:45  14 february  2020 Source:   indystar.com

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Indianapolis police have faced three frightening encounters in three weeks where armed suspects have fired shots at or near officers.

All the bullets missed, thankfully.

The incidents have raised the concern and ire of the head of the local police union.

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"Anytime that occurs the officer is behind the curve. They are having to react to the actions of the suspect," said Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis branch of the Fraternal Order of Police.

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"You have to be grateful that another officer wasn't shot or killed."

The three incidents since Jan. 30 include:

  • On Jan. 30, police said Keven Jalen Brewer, 22, fired a rifle at officers at least twice during a car chase on north-side streets. Brewer was charged with criminal recklessness, resisting law enforcement and pointing a firearm.
  • On Feb. 2, police said Dillon Ray Grant, 24, led officers on a car chase before stopping at South Lasalle Street and Moore Street. Grant got out of the vehicle, letting it roll into a fence, then raised a handgun and fired one shot at officers before running, according to court documents. Grant was taken into custody a short distance from the shooting scene. He was unarmed as he was placed under arrest, and police were unable to find a weapon. Prosecutors charged Grant with attempted murder and other crimes on Feb. 6.
  • On Saturday, police arrested Jason Craft after he fired a handgun into the ground during a confrontation with police. Craft was charged with criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm at another and carrying a handgun without a license.

Sgt. Grace Sibley, a spokeswoman for IMPD, said officers are trained to stay calm and use restraint even in the most stressful circumstances.

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"Despite increasing violence towards law enforcement officers, our officers continue to display discipline and professionalism in spite of the tense and uncertain situations that they encounter," Sibley said.

The FOP's Snyder said the bullets aimed at or around officers are a symptom of bigger problems in the community.

"It is in line with the surging violence that we are seeing city wide," Snyder said.

IMPD investigated 154 criminal homicides in 2019, five deaths fewer than the all-time record of 159 set in 2018. It was the third time the city has recorded more than 150 criminal homicides.

IMPD has opened 24 criminal homicide investigations so far this year, according to an IndyStar analysis of IMPD data.

Snyder has been calling on civic leaders to address a  justice system that he says fails to keep repeat violent offenders off the streets.

The issue has become politicized, with Republican City-County Councilor Brian Mowery announcing plans to form a new "citizen-driven group" that will bring residents, stakeholders and neighborhood associations together to figure out how to combat violent crime.

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Mayor Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, has called for unity and urged community members to help solve deep-set problems that fuel the violence, including drug abuse and generational poverty.

"It's never going to be solved by government alone, and it certainly will not be solved by politics," Hogsett said earlier this month.

While the leaders debate, Snyder said officers and law-abiding citizens are "stuck in the middle."

"These things are preventable," Snyder said. "It's the lack of intervention that's causing the problem."

Contact IndyStar reporter Vic Ryckaert at 317-444-2701 or vic.ryckaert@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @VicRyc.

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This article originally appeared on IndyStar: Guns fired at or near police 3 times in 3 weeks

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