Sunday, June 11, 2006

Abdul: Park Police Won't Enforce Sex Offender Law

AI has been extremely critical of the uselessness of Indianapolis' new sex offender law, which hands out hefty fans to certain sex offenders who come near city parks and other public places frequented by children. Adding to the the absurdity of the new ordinance is what Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is reporting at Indiana Barrister. Park District Director Joe Wynns tells Abdul that park rangers will not be enforcing the new ordinance. Abdul writes:

. . . [T]he head of the park district told me, on the record and with full knowledge of who I was and what I was doing, told me it was not the job of the park district to enforce the ordinance to ticket sex offenders who come near parks or playgrounds. He told me it was the job of other local law enforcement.

Wynn later went on to tell me that they also were not planning to go door to door to check and see who were sex offenders living near the parks and who weren't. "We are not in the sex offender business" were his exact words.

During the entire course of this conversation, I kept asking myself, what was the point of having a law that ticketed sex offenders in parks, if the primary branch of law enforcement wasn't going to do the job? Initially, Wynns agreed to come on my morning radio show and talk about this. He told he wanted to make it clear to the public that this was not the Park District's job. He said he'd already made that fact known to the council, as well. However, a Park District spokeswoman later called me to tell me the interview was cancelled and they could not talk about the ordinance because of the pending lawsuit by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. (Note, the city had no problem talking about the violent video game ban suit a few years back.)

Now City attorney Kobi Wright has agreed to come on my radio program Monday morning at 7:20 and explain to me exactly where I may be confused. But when the head of the Park District tells me that his agency is "not in the sex offender business" things seem pretty clear to me.

There you have it. Taxpayers are going to be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend a lawsuit against an ordinance it has no intention of enforcing because the law is just that bad. But our candidates for prosecutor have a press release and issue they can use to tell voters they are getting tough on child molesters.

UPDATE: City attorney Kobi Wright appeared on Abdul In The Morning Monday morning and told Abdul the park police will enforce the ordinance, although there will be no door-to-door checks for sex offenders, contradicting the statements Joe Wynns gave to Abdul last Friday.


Anonymous said...

Director Wynns should be fired.

He shouldn't be deciding what laws will be enforced and what won't.

Add Wynns to the list of those defending Sex Offenders...


Anonymous said...

Actually, it's Shabazz. Abdul-Hakim is my first name. And it's not about defending sex offenders as it is about pointing out silly laws. Thanks for the mention though. By the way most sex offenders are first timers and are family members or have a close relationship to the victim. How will this law prevent that? It just says you can't go out. Why would you when you could get it at home?!

Anonymous said...


Are you a sex offender?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Anonymous 8:20--Abdul and I are operating in the light of day. You're the one who continues to visit this site and post sleazy messages under the cover of anononymity. If you would like to persist, I'll be more than happy to disclose your identity.