Monday, October 09, 2006

Circle City Classic: The Good And The Bad

Perfect weather helped make this year's Circle City Classic one of its best ever according to event organizers. The Indianapolis Star reports that about 90,000 people gathered downtown on Saturday for the parade and another 31,000 attended the football game at the RCA Dome. In terms of the crowd, the Star says Indianapolis police say there were few problems:

Police also reported few problems all weekend. Maj. Lloyd Crowe, spokesman for the Indianapolis Police Department, said 23 young people were detained for curfew violations Saturday; no curfew violators were picked up Friday.

In addition, IPD officers made eight arrests in the Downtown area Friday night and 25 on Saturday for a variety of violations, most of them minor.

That rosy view contrasts sharply with what WRTV reported. Video footgage shows a panicked crowd running after gunshots were fired in the heart of downtown Saturday night, resulting in the arrest of several individuals in possession of a gun and drugs. One police officer was also injured trying to control the crowds. It reports:

There were dozens of arrests and some tense moments in downtown Indianapolis late Saturday night after the Circle City Classic concluded.

Many of the arrests were for curfew violations, but there were also some more serious arrests.

Warnings were issued before the curfew sweep began.

"I've seen a lot of kids that probably should be with parents. Those are the kids we need to probably get off the street," said Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell.

Gunshots were heard and a group was handcuffed after police said they found drugs and a gun. Police said problems were not as bad this year as they have been in some past years.

In all, there were 23 curfew violations involving kids between the ages of 11 and 17. There were 17 other arrests on Saturday night and eight arrests on Friday night.
One officer was hurt when he twisted his knee while dealing with crowd control.

A friend of mine spoke to the manager of P.F. Chiang's late Saturday night, who he says told him that the restaurant closed shortly after 10:00 p.m. when a third gunshot of the night was heard. I was downtown earlier in the day after the parade ended, and the crowd was very friendly. The doors to my office building on Meridian Street were wide open; however, when I attempted to access the Key Bank ATM machine at Market Tower Saturday afternoon, the building was locked down. Fortunately, a friendly guard permitted me access to the ATM machine. It looks like the problems Saturday night were caused by menacing teen-agers, who probably didn't even attend any of the Circle City Classic events.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being branded racist, is there a reason that these situations seem to escalate on weekends when African-American events are scheduled?

Is it a coincidence, or are there more unsupervised youth on the streets during these events?

And, mostly--where the hell are these parents? I knew where my 14-year-old was Saturday at 11 p.m. He's mad at me for insisting he be in, by the way. I can handle his temporary anger.

And the fact that there was gunfire doesn't surprise me. After all, the Pacers can bust a cap in the direction of someone who disses them. Why can't anyone else? And if law enforcement doesn't step in to help those of us who are trying to do the right thing, it makes the job harder.
Someone should've been arrested at Club Rio. Anyone...hell, grab a bum and cuff him. Shots fired, alcohol and pot...did anyone think to ask if the four young millionaires were fit to drive home? Or did they consume no alcohol (or, uh, pot)?

What we have here is a very serious disconnect between adult authority and youth. I do not operate under the theory it's only blacks that have this problem. It's damned hard work to run interference on your teenagers.

It requires that we all (especially parents) dedicate some time to the effort. And I strongly suspect that's where the disconnect really occurs.

Anonymous said...

I had to run downtown at 11 PM to fix a server problem at work in a downtown building.

Traffic was so bad I could not park anywhere near the building and I did not feel safe to park on the street and walk to and from the building from many blocks away. I saw 3 motorcycliststopped by police for dangerous driving, lots of LOUD Thumping cards. I guy in a convertable drizzling dollar bills into the back seat of the car. Several times people drove recklessly through red lights.

I did see a paddy wagon and they had 1 guy in cuffs. Not sure what for ?

Sad to say I was glad to get out of that situation with no scratches on my car.

I did make it downtown Sunday morning to fix the problem 12 hours later.

Anonymous said...

None of this happens on NCAA weekends. Or Colts weekends. Or hardware wholesalers weekends. Or the gamers conventions. Or... you name the event.

It only seems to happen during Black Expo and Circle City Classic.

Why?

As was noted by 8:59, saying such things is certain to draw the cries of racism. But why should we not ask this question? If there is an answer other than race, then let's hear it. And more importantly, let's address it.

Whatever the reason, maybe it is time that such events be banned. What do I mean by "such events?" Quite simply, those events that year after year result in shootings and other increased violence. Why in the world would we put up with that?

If the same kinds of things occured during the NCAA or Colts games or hardware wholesaler conventions or gaming conventions or anything else that comes downtown, do you think our leaders would hesitate for a moment to say "no more?" So why not the same reaction to these events?

Advance Indiana said...

Anon 9:29, I would have to disagree with you. As WTHR-TV reported earlier this summer, there is a growing problem with manacing teen-agers downtown, particularly on weekends and during the summer. It simply gets more attention on these 2 special event weekends because there's such large crowds gathered. Although the crowd is much tamer now, race weekends used to produce hundreds of arrests over the weekend. And I will never forget that infamous police brawl brought on by several drunk IPD officers who had a little bit too much to drink at the mayor's suite at Victory Field and came downtown after the game and beat up passer-bys just for kicks. Some people think that incident cost Goldsmith his bid to become governor.

Anonymous said...

Although the crowd is much tamer now, race weekends used to produce hundreds of arrests over the weekend.

Yes, though the race weekends the "activities" would be out near the track, not downtown. Spread out over many city blocks (from 16th to 30th Sts). This is the same size crowd concentrated into less than 5 city blocks.

I had forgotten about the drunk IPD "brawl" until you mentioned it.

Anonymous said...

Goldsmith's stupidity and arrogance cost him that gubernatorial slot. Let's open a thread on Goldsmithisms and see where that goes...you'll have to get a new server.

The motorcycle or horse (?) cops who did the Victory Field suite thing, were some of the same cops who were playing bumper cars with regular motorists up north on I-69 a few years ago, enroute back from a Detroit event, as I recall. Some of the offenders were pulled over and brandished their IPD badges, some of them through drunken slurs. Boys will be boys. Almost no discipline was handed out from that event.

The two events mentioned earlier cause the majority of the headaches downtown. In recent years, business owners have complained that large crowds of unruly roving teens clog sidewalks whenever the weather is nice. The trouble was traced to non-drivers, because the majority of them gathered at the Statehouse bus line exchange shelters. I drove by once or twice enroute to another event, and I was shocked. Hundreds of teenages on the Statehouse lawn and parking lot. Late at nighit.

It comes back to the original post: if we know where our kids are, fine. And if the city aggressively enforces the curfews, and calls parents on the carpet for allowing it to be violated, a good chunk of this nonsense would go away. If I get an IPD call to come get my kid, you can rest assured there will never be another call.

We'd still have gun-totin' millionaire athletes to deal with, but the kids roaming the streets would cease.

I predict it'll be a major issue in next year's election. Let the games begin. Charges of racism are only (AM) 1310 steps away...

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 9:29.

Good point on the race events. I would note, however, that even there we don't see much violent crime. At Black Expo and CCC, violent crime is to be expected.

I would also between these annual events and the occassional stand-alone "brawl", like the one that, I agree, cost Goldsmith the State House. There will always be "incidents." The events at Black Expo and CCC are regular, annual occurences.

What I don't understand is why this city sits by so quietly as the same events cause the same set of violent problems year after year after year. In that regard, Black Expo and CCC stand alone.

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 9:29. (With a missing word added back in this time.)

Good point on the race events. I would note, however, that even there we don't see much violent crime. At Black Expo and CCC, violent crime is to be expected.

I would also distinguish between these annual events and the occassional stand-alone "brawl", like the one that, I agree, cost Goldsmith the State House. There will always be "incidents." The events at Black Expo and CCC are regular, annual occurences.

What I don't understand is why this city sits by so quietly as the same events cause the same set of violent problems year after year after year. In that regard, Black Expo and CCC stand alone.

Anonymous said...

Good point on the race events. I would note, however, that even there we don't see much violent crime

No. Even in the Indy 500's heyday (I guess one good thing about the open-wheel split huh?) most arrests were drunk & disorderly, back in the snakepit days. The F-1 and Brickyard crowd is hardly anything beyond traffic control and the occasional drunk.

Nothing like the crowd for IBE or CCC. Which is really too bad since those types of things is what the majority uses to point their finger at the minorities.

The Pacers? What an embarrassment.

Jocelyn-Tandy Adande said...

Indiana Black Expo has sponsored the Summer Celebration 35 years in downtown Indianapolis, and 23 years for Circle City Classic.

Media overkill, there are other individuals wandering around downtown during IBE Summer Celebration and CCC who do not attend the events.

An incident occurred a few years ago on the Northside and a white female reporter for Ch 13 news quickly associated it with IBE, even though it had nothing to do with the events downtown. I called the station and complained about it.

Whenever tens of thousands of people are gathered within a small area there will be some incidents. The event sponsors are not responsible for the conduct of individuals who choose to break the law. The violators may or may not be associated with the event.

Check out the incident reports for the Indiana State Fair and the 500 Race, Brickyard 400 combined. You will find that IBE Summer Celebration and CCC have fewer incidents reported altogether annually.

The media does not report each incident that happens before or after a Colts, Pacer, or Indians' game downtown. Try driving around downtown on a night when there is game, you will have the same problems with traffic and parking on a regular basis.

Anonymous 9:18:
African Americans pay their fair share of taxes in this city and have the same right to utilize the downtown facilities.
Check out the license plates of teenagers on most of the cars every weekend, they are visitors from outside of the city. There are homeless people wandering around downtown 24 hours a day. I am sure no one would have bothered you when you drove downtown this past weekend. Traffic gets backed up and people do run red lights.

I have walked around downtown and have seen numerous incidents go unreported when other organizations have sponsored them. To stereotype black events only is Racism.

Anonymous said...

Jocelyn, I've tried really hard NOT to brand the CCC and Expo incidents.

I'm downtown a lot. Pacer season ticket holder (yeah, I know...not sure what that means this year). I'm downtown on busy game weekdays and weekends. Through big conventions and small ones, churches and Shriners...you name it.

I go to the State Fair every year, multiple times. ANd the 500, about every other year, as well as one of the other big races.

In short, I'm around big crowds in this city on a regular basis.

For unknown reasons, the two events cited above are disproportionately high with crime. And excess loitering.

I think the city finally "gets" it, and tried hard this last weekend to cut down on teen loitering. Which is, frankly, really a parental problem, but that's material for another thread.

I am left to conclude, unscientifically, that African-American families, at least some of those who frequent these events, spend a hell of a lot less time policing their kids. Big time. If that makes me racist, you need to redefine racism.

If the loitering problem is corraled, you get rid of most of these bigger problems, or at least pull them in line, proportionately, with other big events in the city.

Despite her unfortunate forray into the 300 East thing, I've engaged Joyce Rogers on this topic, and she agrees. She listened, and understands that Black Expo has got to throw its considerable weight behind better curfew and loitering enforcement.
The 300 East thing, I'm convinced, was a tag-along for Joyce. She had no idea what she was getting into.

Black Expo and CCC both bring thousands of out-of-state persons into our community. I welcome their money, their enthusiasm and their friendship. I did not sign up, however, to babysit their 14-17 year olds. Or babysit Indy teens, either, for that matter.

Some of whom behave, well, let's just say, badly.

For the sake of the reputations of these two fine events, I'd think all involved would want to curtail unnecessary loitering, and to promote good parenting from visitors and residents.

Sometimes you have to hit bottom before you turn thigns around.

46038 said...

Anon 8:39 said, "I am left to conclude, unscientifically, that African-American families, at least some of those who frequent these events, spend a hell of a lot less time policing their kids. Big time. If that makes me racist, you need to redefine racism."

The definition of racism does not need to be redefined, just your inability to self identify.

racism (râ´sîz´em) noun
1.The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

Anonymous said...

Sit back and view the facts, 1:43.

The wholesale nonsense goes on only two weekends a year.

Mild nonsense goes on maybe once or twice a year, relatively tame in comparison.

Those events are overwhelmingly devoted to African-Americans. Black Expo makes a decent attempt to invite non-AAs to its events, but CCC makes almost zero attempt.

It is not racist to observe and point out the obvious.

It is sad, though.