Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More On State Correction Officials Admit Police Shooter Slipped Through The Cracks

It only takes one really bad case to reveal flaws in our state correction systems and the case of police shooter Thomas Hardy is proving to be that case for the administration of Gov. Mitch Daniels. The Star's Carrie Ritchie has more on the admission of Department of Correction officials that two key mistakes made by Thomas Hardy allowed a man with a criminal record a mile long to be freed after he had been arrested and jailed in November for theft despite 11 prior convictions:

A state prison official admitted Monday that the suspect in the shooting of an Indianapolis police officer might never have been on the streets if either of two crucial steps had been taken after a previous arrest.

Mistake one: Indiana Department of Correction spokesman Doug Garrison said the department failed to enter the parole status of Thomas X. Hardy, 60, into a law enforcement database.

If it had, Garrison said, Marion County Jail officials would have known Hardy was on parole when he was arrested Nov. 19 on felony theft charges. Garrison said the jailers might have contacted the DOC in such a circumstance.

Mistake two: Parole officers are supposed to perform regular checks of the database to determine whether parolees have been arrested. Marion County Jail officials had entered the November arrest, but his parole officer hadn't checked the database.

Garrison said that if DOC officials had known that Hardy was being held in Marion County Jail last month -- either by being contacted by the jail or noticing the arrest in the database -- officials likely would have asked the jail to keep him in custody until a parole board could review his case.

Instead, he was freed after posting $15,000 bail on Dec. 21.

"We regret that any failure of the DOC to properly follow its internal processes resulted in the premature release of Hardy," Garrison said, "and like all citizens of Indiana, our sympathies and prayers are with the officer and his family."

Garrison said officials are trying to determine why Hardy's case slipped through the cracks, but he said the DOC would use the situation as an opportunity to "tighten (our) procedures."

"There certainly has to be a re-emphasis of oversight," Garrison said.

While the immediate focus is on the Department of Correction's mistakes that allowed the release of Hardy, you can't help but wonder why nobody at the county jail or the prosecutor's office had become familiar enough with Hardy because of his numerous prior arrests and time spent in the county jail awaiting sentencing for multiple prior convictions, many of which took place soon after he was released from prison.
Ritchie provides more details on the circumstances that resulted in his November arrest. It turns out he was suspected of stealing TVs from a Target store at Glendale over a several day period:
Hardy was arrested in November after security officers at the Glendale Target on North Keystone Avenue caught him trying to shoplift two televisions. They eventually linked him to similar thefts that occurred on Nov. 14, 17 and 18 at the same store, according to police records and court affidavits.

He told officers then that he planned to sell the TVs to make money because the economy was bad.

He was released from the Marion County Jail on Dec. 21 after posting bond.

Family and corrections officials naturally insist there were no signs the 60-year-old Hardy was capable of committing violent offenses, even if he was a serial thief.
Hardy had been on parole since being released from prison in October 2009. He was considered to be a low-risk parolee for several reasons, including the fact that he was considered nonviolent. Though he had been arrested for parole violations in the past, he had been seeing his parole officer regularly, Garrison said. He could have been off parole in March if he had avoided arrest . . .
Though Hardy spent about 19 of the last 27 years in prison for committing an assortment of crimes, his family doesn't think he would be capable of shooting a police officer.

He didn't make it past the 10th grade at Crispus Attucks High School and, during various interviews with police, he reported himself as unemployed except for stints in maintenance in 2006 and construction in 1998. He had no spouse and said his parents were deceased.

Hardy never exhibited any violent tendencies or carried a gun and never showed any animosity toward police, said his niece, Cynthia Cody, 51, Indianapolis.

"I'm just sick about everything," Cody said. "I am sick for my family, and I am sick for the officers' family. This is not in my uncle's character."
So you can see where this argument is headed. It's society's fault and, in particular, employers who didn't want to give Hardy a job because of his past criminal record. Yeah, corrections officials screwed up, but if only someone would have offered him a job, he wouldn't have stolen a car, shot a cop and held up a store at gunpoint after he was mistakenly released.


Downtown Indy said...

What has happened to the story about an IMPD officer allegedly taking his own life last night?

WISH ran a 'breaking news' banner on their website. They had a story several paragraphs long that detailed the events on Bent Oak Tr in Lawrence and the ambulance escorted by a dozen IMPD and Lawrence cars to Methodist.

And today, it's as if that never happened. If it was an erroneous story, it was certainly a whopper of a mistake.

Gary R. Welsh said...

First I've heard about it, DI.

Downtown Indy said...

A 911 event for a gunshot/unsecure does exist and I crosschecked the address in Google street view which showed an IMPD car in the driveway at the location.

So it would seem to be real, which makes me wonder who clamped down on the story? Is our local media now being controlled by someone in city government or is it just an unusual joint effort by all local media to suppress in the wake of the Moore shooting?

Oh dear, am I becoming a conspiratist?

Gary R. Welsh said...

It's possible the initial story got leaked before family members could be notified and they were asked to pull it, but you would have thought something would have surfaced in news reports this morning.

Cato said...

Here's all that's still out there:

Cop cars escort ambulance to hospital

News 12 hrs ago on WISH TV · Share

A neighbor tells 24-Hour News 8 there was police activity at a police officer's home in the 12400 block of Bent Oak Drive in Lawrence Monday night, around the same time a large police escort brought an ambulance to Methodist Hospital.

Cato said...

How dare they pull a story? Honesty demands that news be reported when discovered. I have never seen such a close marriage of police to news as I have in Indianapolis.

The media here will not run a story until they are able to typeset it directly from the IMPD press release.

As for finding a gun in Hardy's home, if you shot a cop and then just committed an armed robbery, wouldn't that gun be long disposed of?

We need facts, not police statements. I want to see the dashcam from Moore's car. Has anyone seen this yet?

Gary R. Welsh said...

There was no dash cam in Moore's police car. That has already been reported.

Cato said...

Did you actually look at Moore's car to see if there was a camera mount on it, Gary? Did you pull the IMPD vehicle logs to see if a camera was ever mounted? Where is Moore's car? Boring, I know, but still required journalism.

If his car didn't have a dash cam, I have to wonder whether Moore was involved in day-to-day traffic enforcement. If he wasn't involved in regular traffic enforcement, how did he come to pull over a car?

Further, how did he come to pull over a car on Temple Avenue, when IMPD's traffic activities are rarely conducted on side streets? Was the bulk of Moore's day focused on traffic enforcement? We know that he was unaware that the car was stolen. Why did he pull over the car?

Cato said...

Yep, it's a suicide. WISH won't run it because it's their policy not to publish suicides.

I have read numerous stories of police suicides, but not in Indianapolis! Here, the news is selectively reported.

This policy of suppressing the news denies the public any means of putting two and two together and making any connections between the death and the reasons for it.

Was it a suicide or something more sinister? We'll never know. Indianapolis' Ministry of Truth drops our news down a memory hole.

Your blog is widely read. Let's hope this exerts pressure on them to restore the original story.

Kudos to Downtown Indy for having a keen eye.

Gary R. Welsh said...

FOP President William Owensby was interviewed about the dash cam issue. He noted there wasn't enough money in the budget to fund cameras for every car so only selected cars are furnished with cams--presumably those primarily doing traffic stops. A police spokesman indicated Moore was working on proactive stops as part of stepped up enforcement in problem areas.

Cato said...

"A police spokesman indicated Moore was working on proactive stops as part of stepped up enforcement in problem areas."

What does that mean? What is a "proactive stop?" Sounds like a stop in absence of either probable cause or observation of a violation.

Does IMPD have a manual on proactive stops? Does IMPD have a policy on proactive stops? Has IMPD ever admitted proactive stops to defense counsel or a court?

What training did Moore receive on proactive stops? How many officers are assigned to proactive stops? How many proactive stops had Moore completed? Why are "proactive stops...in problem areas" conducted with only one officer in the car?

Why is no journalism being done on these basic questions?

If Obama threw out a skeletal answer, he'd have every allegation researched by the press back to the Magna Carta, and he'd be vilified if he was in error in any detail. In Indianapolis, police statements become the official news, and no further journalism is performed.

Cato said...

The 911 Log shows the address of the shooting as 12467 Bent Oak Trail.


Records show that house is owned by a Jason A. Jordan.


Records also reveal that there is an IMPD officer named Jason Jordan who lives in the Crystal Pointe section of Lawrence. Bent Tree Lane is also called Crystal Pointe Circle.


IMPD Officer Jason Jordan is apparently a former deputy in the Marion County Sheriff's Department, presumably becoming an IMPD officer through the merger of the Sheriff and IPD.


Gary R. Welsh said...

A media source tells me a police officer in the north district did take his life yesterday.

Unknown said...

Hey CATO, the aliens are calling you.

Unknown said...

If an officer commits suicide, it is not the business of anyone- especially conspiratorial nut jobs. If it happened on duty (it did not) then that is a different story.

But to sensationalize and stupidly demand transparency into the personal-not professional or public- but private life of a police officer is sinister in itself.

I mean just imagine if a stranger took the time to glean property records on someone who commits suicide only to sensationalize it on a blog. I am sure glad human beings are above such demented activities.

Folks, if you have problems talk with someone. Get help! Everything can be fixed, except suicide.

P.S. Don't call CATO-it might end up on a 465 billboard.

Cato said...

IndyCAD, are you really so dense as to think that the public might not have any cause to wonder why a public employee killed himself?

Of course, not. You're simply erecting an opaque blue wall to shield certain people from inquiry.

This very blog has discussed, often at length, the suicides of Joe Miller, David Frisby, Philip Pagano, Christopher Kelly, Richard McIntyre, Michael Scott, Orlando Jones, Eric Johnson, Karl Rove's mother, the faked suicide of Dr. Thomas Hoshour, and the contemplated suicide of Gov. Dan Walker.

Police are not entitled to preferential treatment by or the inattention and deference of the press.

It's a shame you need to be told this.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm a bit surprise there has been no reporting on it in the media beyond the yanked WISH-TV online story. I know there have been police officers who have committed suicide in the past because I heard it from reports in the local news media. I checked with a TV news reporter on this suicide this morning, who confirmed it happened. I don't know why that reporter or others are not covering it. Heck, they report on soldiers committing suicide all the time. Ed Coleman related the tragic suicide death of his brother at the city council meeting last night. You mention the Joe Miller case, Cato. The local media completely refused to report on the circumstances surrounding his death. There has still not been a public confirmation of his cause of death, let alone why the government raided his business and closed it down.

Cato said...

Gary, the local media takes its orders from the sacred cows it refuses to cover in proper journalistic fashion.

I just heard the SOTU. Obama said, more of less, "some people live in a country where the central government can order the press not to cover a story." Immediately, I yelled at me tv: "INDIANAPOLIS!" Indiana is an incipient authoritarian state, and the conservatives here wouldn't have it any other way.

These people consider it patriotic duty for the press to cover stories in a prescribed manner to advance a message, or not at all, as the message requires.

Cato said...

Has anyone heard what caliber of bullet accounted for each shot that struck Moore?

Has anyone heard what caliber of gun was recovered from Hardy?

Perhaps my searching skills are poor, but I can't find these facts.

I'm also having a difficult time seeing how a single shooter goes from one in the chest to one in the hip to two in the head. Firefights have indiscriminate shooting. Two in the head from any distance other than point blank is very difficult. If the head shot came first, there wouldn't be follow-up shots, as Moore would have been down. If he was down when the shooter took a head shot, he would have died instantly.

My gut says at least two shooters. Unpracticed shooters at distance rarely get head-shot lucky.

The witness said there were several shots fired, at two volleys. If Moore was shot as he stood at the car window, there wouldn't have been many shots fired, at all. The facts, if they can be trusted, suggest out-of-the-car firing, with Moore being engaged at a distance away from the driver's window.

Did he order everyone out of the car, at which point, the shooter(s) engaged?

Just for thoroughness, is anyone looking to see if Moore and Jason Jordan ever served with one another or if either appears on the other's phone records? Is anyone looking at Moore's duty logs to see if he was regularly assigned to that part of town?

Does the Star do any real reporting?

Unknown said...

Cato, there is a different between wonder (curiosity), and public, morbid display of a private matter regarding death. There is nothing dense about that. We can find any number of dense reasons why someone would qualify for public attention. If through investigation, it is determined that a public connection exists, then the media may concern themselves with it. It is their responsibility to follow up. However, working for a government agency alone does not qualify, unless (again) there is a suspected link. It is simply poor decorum; but gutter manners are just expected (unfortunately) from some people.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Cato, Did you notice how many people Jared Loughner managed to shoot in a manner of seconds? He had a semi-automatic weapon, which Hardy more than likely had. There have been no reported eye witnesses; only people who heard the shots. By one account, someone heard four rapid shots, a brief silence, then three more rapid shots. This was just Officer Moore's second day of working a day shift; he had worked a night shift before according to police. He was working alone. That area is one of the most dangerous areas for an officer to work. If investigations are done properly, police work vigorously to gather the evidence without providing every single detail as they are uncovered. You may recall there was concern Frank Straub had hampered the police investigation of that shooting last summer where there were multiple victims by disclosing information that may have caused potential witnesses to go silent. Let's give the police time to build their case before jumping to any wide speculation.

Cato said...

I flatly disagree, AI. I want the press to run with every fact, immediately when it's discovered. Facts are facts. Get the facts out there. Hiding facts leads to speculation and rumor.

And I give the police only a little permission to work in secret, as freedom of the press is built on a healthy distrust of the government. After OmniSource, Bisard and other scandals, the police need to operate under all possible sunshine.

The Star is withholding the name of the suspended corrections officer. Did Moore know the corrections officer? Did Jason Jordan? Did anyone else? Was the corrections officer simply negligent, or did someone intervene on Hardy's behalf?

Get the facts and names out, so the street can tell us the truth.

Cato said...

IndyCAD, I don't trust the people tasked with investigating to get to the bottom of police corruption.

When a cop shoots himself, the people need to know why.

If he had family problems, we need to know what counseling the department failed to provide. If he was depressed, we need to know the department's psychological evaluation procedures to be assured that other depressed officers are not on the streets with guns. If he was mixed up with some bad people, we need to know that.

Any time a cop does something wrong with a gun, the public needs to know. Don't like it, don't take the job.

Unknown said...

From your profile CATO...

"3. If what you're doing neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, it's none of my business."

Please be consistent. And stop watching Jesse Ventura.

JustCause said...

Cato, are you a producer for Jesse Ventura's 'Conspiracy Theory'?....You suggested that the corrections officer did not put a hold on Hardy in the event that an officer might have pulled Hardy over in a stolen car?
You cry for journalism but do not do your homework! On "pro-active stops"- A pro active stop is anything a cop does that he is not dispatched to from a 911 call! Most traffic stops are pro active stops.
You said that most IMPD's traffic stops are not done on side streets, can you give the source on that statistic?
Maybe you should go to bed so you are fresh for tonights episode of 'Coast to Coast'

Anonymous said...

Cato get a life!!!! I knew both of the officers and there is no connection between the two. Neither of those cops were corrupt. As far as the suicide it is none of your dam business why he choose to take his life. The families are dealing with enough pain and wondering why in both cases. They don’t need ass holes like you placing blaming or pointing fingers. Get a life!! My thoughts and prayers go out to both families they were good men.

SW Lane said...

Cato, you are a sad embittered troll..a contemptible coward who posts screeching rants behind a cloak of anonymity.

However, it is your right. I did read a post of yours that was amusing: "Police Officer think they are better than us."

Thats' not true as a collective belief, However, in your case, it most certainly is.

~ Mike Hegg

Cato said...

You cops take the public's money, so you answer to the public. Make sure you're clear on this arrangement. You like to say you're police officers 24/7, when saying so is convenient for you. If you make such global statements, expect us to take you at your word and look at everything you do with an eye to public accountability.

If you IMPD sensitive souls want to curb conjecture, do two things, always:

1. Run a clean department, though it will take years to rebuild the public's trust.

2. Be open and forthcoming with all facts.

Lastly, you're cops. Act like you have a backbone. Simpering and sniveling when people take a public look at your activities makes you look corrupt and impotent in absence of a badge.

With the anti-First Amendment statements that are made here, I have to wonder what threats have been made against Indy's journalists to keep them silent and compliant.

Steve King said...

Given the circumstances surrounding the shooting of IMPD officer David Moore, I should understand why this hasn't been reported locally. But I don't. An IMPD officer commits suicide Monday evening and 48 hours later this is nowhere to be found in any local news coverage--print, electronic or web.

Help me understand how and why the police department and local news media have the right to collude (apparently) and suppress this story. When a public safety employee discharges their weapon and someone is injured or killed, the public has a right to know the facts.

This was published in Gary, IN. Here's the news item from a Gary Topix news forum - http://www.topix.com/forum/city/gary-in/TPM73V1N8UT6IPQUH

Unknown said...

Cato, thank you for once again proving my point in the earlier thread. The public has a right to know quite a bit, but at the same time don't expect the city to shell out millions of dollars to have something done in 48 hours that normally takes weeks just so conspiracy theorists such as yourself can jump in feet-first a little earlier.

Cato said...

Marco, you're clueless. The media is supposed to have all facts as soon as discovered to watch the cops do their job and to stand over their shoulders to ensure the cops aren't corrupt.

IMPD needs a lot of sunshine.

Unknown said...

Rather be clueless than using unsubstantiated, loosely tied together conspiracy theories (to include being a 9/11 truther) to advocate impossibilities to support what amounts to nothing more than personal vendettas bordering on bigotry. I'd rather be clueless than angry, hateful, spiteful, stupid, and clueless...

kathy jordan said...

Why is the suicide of a police officer such big news? It is a tradgy when anyone committs this act, not just a police officer. The family (his parents) were not notified until later that evening of what had happened to their son, maybe that's why it wasn't on the news, if you call that news. The public know nothing about his life, that's as it should be. Please do not speculate on things you know nothing about. It only hurts his family.