IMPD officer arrested
Marion County - An Indianapolis Metro Police is in jail, accused of selling a handgun to a felon. He is the fourth IMPD officer arrested in two weeks.
Police say Officer Jason Barber, an eight-year veteran of the department, was arrested at his home Friday afternoon. He is currently suspended without pay and facing two felonies - selling a handgun to a convicted felon and official misconduct.
Detective Barber worked as an undercover narcotics officer with Safe Streets Task Force. In that capacity he worked with confidential informants.
Police say Barber met with one of those informants at a convenience store in the 700 block of East 38th street on March 16th. At that time, they say he sold the informant a handgun for $110. The conversation was being recorded by IMPD and the FBI.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the informant said: "What do you think they'd do to me if they caught me with a pistol, being a felon?" Barber allegedly responded: "...don't pack, you would be hemmed up boy," a reference to being arrested and charged.
"My initial reaction to it is the same as it always is, intense disappointment, but not surprised. When you have a police force as large as ours, nearly 2,000 sworn officers, I'd be very surprised if we didn't have some people that turned out to be crooks. In fact, if we didn't find people committing crimes, I would wonder about our enforcement efforts," said Scott Newman, director of public safety.
Officials say the lines get blurred sometimes when officers go undercover to catch criminals.
"It's okay to mimic them for purposes of undercover transaction, but when it becomes dangerous is when they start to mimic them in terms of lack of moral compass," said Newman.
Barber was assigned to the Dangerous Drug Section of the Narcotics Branch. Although he did work with Officers Jason Edwards and Robert Long in that unit, who were both indicted earlier in the month by the U.S. Attorney's Office, police say Barber's case is not related to theirs.