Metro Police made two gang arrests related to the shootings downtown during the Black Expo Summer Celebration. One of the suspects is a woman who works at the Marion County Jail. The other is her teenaged son. Police found gang paraphernalia in the suspects' home.It is important to note that Michelle Hurns is an employee of the private operator of Jail II, Corrections Corporation of America, and not the sheriff's department. Hurns works in the intake area of the jail. It is very disturbing that steps are not taken to monitor the employees working for the private contractor more closely. This kind of personnel breakdown at the jail opens the opportunity for contraband to make its way into the jail. WTHR's report indicates Hurns was verbally abusive and resisted arrest. She's been charged with criminal gang activity, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice. Her 16-year-old son is facing similar charges in juvenile court. Earlier reports indicated there was an attempt by Hurns' son to incite a riot in their neighborhood when police were taking them into custody. This seems to be a pattern provoked following the alleged beating by police of a youth who attempted to interfere with the arrest of his younger brother on home invasion charges.
The gunfire that wounded nine people during Black Expo weekend was gang-related, according to Metro Police. Shamus Patton, 17, faces charges in the downtown shootings.
Tuesday, police arrested 34-year-old Michelle Hurns, an employee of CCA, the private company that runs the Marion County Jail 2 and her 16-year-old son on charges that include criminal gang activity.
IMPD's gang unit discovered gang paraphernalia, cell phones, a computer and bullets at her home on the southeast side. Among the items seized from the home was a Grimmie Boyz T-shirt.
"She was either a member of that gang or supported her son in that gang," said Sgt. Linda Jackson, IMPD.
The Grimmie Boyz is a criminal gang active in Indianapolis that police believe was the apparent target by Shamus Patton, an alleged member of a rival gang called the Ratchet Boys.
Police believe Hurns' son was a witness to the downtown shooting. Authorities say the teen and his mother fought with police during Tuesday's arrest.
We're really sitting on a powder keg here in Indianapolis with racial tensions running high and police feeling their hands are now tied to effectively combat crime in the City because of the egg-headed leadership of New Yorker Frank Straub. Reports I'm getting about the policing downtown on the night of the shootings confirms that. Despite a presence of 500 police officers, business owners complain that police did nothing to curtail bad behavior. According to one account, one business owner had to watch while youths destroyed property at his restaurant while police looked on and refused to stop them, even after the business owner appealed for help. That's because they were under orders by Straub to avoid making any arrests in an abundance of caution to avoid offending the African-American community. The teens quickly surmised that the huge police presence posed no threat to carrying out serious crimes, such as the shootings that occurred.
While police patted themselves on the back for capturing Shamus Patton after two days on the lam, others including me are not impressed. The second shooter has never been identified by police. Patton fired off numerous rounds at two different locations where there was a large presence of police on foot, on horseback, bikes and riding in cruisers. That he was able to fire shots is no surprise. That police couldn't apprehend him before he escaped is inexcusable. That Patton, who had faced nine previous criminal charges over the past two years, including a search warrant two months ago that uncovered evidence of his criminal gang activity and was still on the streets instead of locked up in the juvenile offender center is an outrage.
One final note on Straub. During a meeting this summer with a group of black ministers at a church, I'm told by an administration official that Straub repeatedly dropped the f-bomb during his presentation. The ministers were none too pleased with his foul language. I'm told Straub was oblivious to the idea that anyone would have been offended by him using the f-word. It is interesting that Straub's faux pas has been completely ignored by the news media, some of whom I know have been made aware of it happening. I guess it doesn't fit the meme that Straub is an intellectually superior east coaster among the rubes that is helping us find our way out of the dark ages.