. . . In Monday’s case -- the fourth homicide in eight days -- James Johnson, a 16-year-old boy, was gunned down next to a swing set shortly before 3 p.m. at the Hawthorne Place Apartments, near East 32nd Street and North Emerson Avenue.
Several of the victim’s friends said he was the cousin of Monquize Edwards, 16-year-old boy shot and killed July 4 in Downtown Indianapolis after the city’s official fireworks ended. Police told the Star they had also heard that information, but said they had not confirmed Monday evening if it was true.
At the apartment complex Monday, a row of eight officers lined up next to the playground, carefully watching a 20-person-strong group that had formed outside an apartment after the shooting. Members of the anti-violence group Ten Point Coalition also appeared.
But brief moments of chaos still erupted.
One woman attracted attention several times as she stormed up and down the grass, yelling and cursing. "Ya'll let him get away!” she screamed at no one in particular, flailing her arms.
Less than half an hour later, a fight erupted between two people, one of them a shirtless teenage boy. People quickly stopped the fight, not letting it get past the first punch. As a man in a yellow shirt held the shirtless boy in a headlock and made him walk away, he cursed aloud.
A few minutes after that, residents broke up another scuffle, this one involving a young girl. That was quickly quelled as well, as a man in a red shirt walked her away . . .The shooting came only hours after police had released photos of five persons of interest sought for questioning in connection with the Fourth of July shooting downtown. Just hours later, two more persons were shot at an apartment complex at Park Avenue and 16th Street close to downtown, leaving one man dead. According to police reports, the fatal shooting victim was holding a baby girl in his arms when he was shot and killed at 1:30 a.m. this morning.
The latest shooting victim brings to 79 the total number of people killed in homicides in Indianapolis this year. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis City-County Council failed to override Mayor Greg Ballard's veto of an ordinance that would have set aside $6 million in ReBuild Indy funds to help fund a new class of police recruits to help replenish IMPD's dwindling ranks. Although Indianapolis taxpayers raised local income taxes by 65% in 2007 to fund public safety spending increases, Mayor Ballard has chosen to divert hundreds of millions of dollars since taking office in order to provide tax giveaways and subsidies to businesses which contribute heavily to his and council members' campaigns. Mayor Ballard announced a plan to move more police from desk jobs to the streets in a plan concocted to provide cover for the majority of the Republican council members who voted against the override. Several Republican council members were not swayed, including Christine Scales, Aaron Freeman, Robert Lutz and Janice McHenry. Among their criticisms of the mayor's veto was his plan to spend millions on a new sports facility on the city's eastside so the city can boast it has a "world class" facility at which to play cricket.
UPDATE: In the Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" category, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, a paid shill for the Ballard administration, actually makes the case that crime is really not as bad as it appears in Indianapolis. Of course, if the doctoring of crime statistics mastered by former Public Safety Director Frank Straub is still in use, the statistics are weren't the paper on which they're written.