Sunday, July 20, 2014

Militarized Police State The Cost Of Preventing Violence In Downtown Indy During Summer Celebration

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Mayor Lil Greg showing off his bling for Black Expo's All White Party. Is that the Super Bowl ring he received as a gift thanks to the $50 million Indianapolis taxpayers spent hosting the 2012 Super Bowl? (Photo/Amos Brown)
Some folks are busy patting themselves on the backs for a lack of violence at this year's Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. I arrived back in town late Saturday night after attending a wedding out-of-town. As I drove through the heart of downtown Indianapolis about 11:00 p.m., I found a frightening scene--a full-blown military police state in place with more uniformed police officers than visitors downtown and an army of police cruisers, tactical vehicles, mobile command centers and other toys of the police state lining the streets of downtown Indianapolis. There was nothing inviting about the scene; it was a place to be avoided at all costs. Downtown businesses most assuredly saw little business on what should be a bustling summer weekend but for this event taking place annually downtown. Taxpayers no doubt shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay to have nearly a third of the City's entire police force patrolling downtown at a time the administration claims it lacks funding to hire enough police officers to safely patrol the city. While the police were patrolling downtown, three men were shot in another shooting near 33rd Street and Washington Blvd. on the City's north side.

There's another event that takes place annually every June on the American Legion mall that draws more than 50,000 people crammed into one small area where alcohol is served and live stage music is performed. IMPD is so content that the gay revelers and their straight supporters who attend the Indy Pride Fest and Parade won't cause any crime-related problems that the department doesn't even bother to dispatch more than a handful of police officers to direct traffic in the area packed with residents and out-of-town visitors. Rarely are any arrests made during the event. The City of Indianapolis subsidizes the organization that sponsors Summer Celebration, which is chaired by Greg Wilson, a city employee in charge of doling out minority contracts for Mayor Ballard's administration, but Indy Pride has never received a single tax dollar as it continues to grow and contribute substantially to downtown tourism the weekend it is held annually. What's wrong with this picture, Mr. Mayor? If you're so concerned about building a vibrant downtown, why do you allow an event to be hosted annually that costs so much to patrol and causes visitors to avoid downtown like the plague?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most of us know when Summer Celebration comes to town the last place you want to go is downtown.

A good friend of Greg Wilson's,a female who claimed to have a business relationship with him back in 2006, enjoys the spoils of minority rewards and is so arrogant about it, it is revolting.

Anonymous said...

the Indy cops did catch someone
wanted on a home invasion case out of South Bend.

Anonymous said...

What in the hell was Boss Hogg doing in downtown Indianapolis last night? What are the Dukes up to now? But seriously, until the drag queens start shooting each other and the bears in leather start throwing down in the middle of the Pride Parade, you probably won't see much of a police presence at the Pride Fest. After two consecutive Black Expo Saturday nights that have been ghost towns, look for IMPD to scale back resources significantly in 2015.

Anonymous said...

What's with the foolish get-up? "White Party" or not, the guy is stuffed into a too-tight costume that seems clearly nothing of who/what he really is. Superfly or Superflop?

Anonymous said...

Ballard looks like a street Pimp in that photo.

Anonymous said...

LOL...Boss Hogg...I was thinking the exact same thing!

Guest said...

Really Joan Rivers are you the fashion police worrying more about what he is wearing rather than the fact that there was no incidents due to overwhelming police presence, which I suppose you could say - worked.

C. Roger Csee said...

Guest 12:10 -
So you think it is perfectly all right for 90% of the city to go un- or under protected because 2/3 of the police department, plus state police plus sheriff deputies plus homeland security, plus FBI had to be assigned in a one mile square just to prevent violence!!!
Not counting the huge amount of overtime that had to be paid for that "protection."

Anonymous said...

IMPD patrolman did not get paid over time. Day off Saturday was canceled and those that were supposed to be off had to take a trade day.

Anonymous said...

Police state...you guys are funny. In that case, make sure you are looking around you for the black helicopters.

Pete Boggs said...

Many of us are fans of the Motor Speedway, which has undergone various transitions through the years; from bicycles to motorcycles to cars to idle years & back to racing, USAC to IRL..., from snake pit to family mounds back to a corporate version of the snake pit...

While a free people don't need a militarized police force; an effective, functional judiciary would sure help with the crime problem- which can't be blamed on Expo any more than the IMS.

It may help some to consider Expo like Irish Fest; a cultural event to which all are welcome & our family has enjoyed since the mid 1980's. Much like the IMS, the event's had successes & setbacks, in good & not so good economies. Yet the mission is one of outreach & inclusion.

Anonymous said...

"Much like the IMS, the event's had successes & setbacks, in good & not so good economies. Yet the mission is one of outreach & inclusion."

Ummm, yeah, how many people have been shot at IMS or Irishfest?

Garry Bow said...

This stuff is a bit too heavy for police patrolling the Downtown area. I don’t think we need such huge force caravans patrolling the city. Here, regularity of job would be more important than occasional bulkiness!