United States Attorney Honors Officer David Moore With Third Annual Impd Ride-along
Hogsett says protecting law enforcement officers remains top priority in 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, marked the third anniversary of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer David Moore by spending time this afternoon with Moore’s fellow North District officers on their patrol duties. This marks the third consecutive year that Hogsett has ridden with officers as part of the U.S. Attorney’s continued commitment to protecting Indiana’s law enforcement community.
“We all have an obligation to honor the legacy of fallen heroes like Officer Moore by doing everything possible to protect Indiana’s law enforcement community,” Hogsett said. “In ride-alongs here in Indianapolis and across the state, I have heard of the serious threats posed by illegally-armed felons. That is why the United States Attorney’s Office has been aggressive in holding accountable anyone who is found to have played a role in violence against a police officer.”
In the days following the shooting of Officer Moore, investigators discovered that a local man named Eric “Boo” Jenkins provided a loaded Bersa .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun to convicted felon Thomas Hardy. The illegally-armed Hardy subsequently shot IMPD Officer Moore numerous times with that firearm. Jenkins was charged by federal prosecutors with illegally possessing the firearm in question, and he was convicted and sentenced to 57 months in prison.
Hogsett noted that in recent years, Indiana has seen other acts of violence against law enforcement officers. In July 2011, Terre Haute Police Officer Brent Long was gunned down by an illegally-armed felon who later took his own life. In December 2011, IMPD Officer Dwayne Runnels was shot by a convicted felon during a routine traffic stop. And just last year, IMPD Officer Rod Bradway was killed in the line of duty.
In each of these cases, federal prosecutors worked with local law enforcement partners under the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) to hold accountable those who had contributed to the acts of violence. Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged. In the case of Officer Long’s death, state law did not provide an effective path of prosecution against those who were collaterally involved. As a result, seven people who might otherwise have walked away from the tragedy were charged with various federal offenses, including providing false statements to law enforcement and illegally providing the firearm used in the shooting. All pleaded guilty.
Similarly, Hogsett announced last year the federal indictment of Tarus E. Blackburn, Jr., age 23, of Indianapolis, who purchased a firearm for a convicted felon who, two months later, used the weapon to shoot Officer Runnels. Blackburn pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve a year in federal prison in September 2012.