Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tully Credits Anderson On Pea Shake Crackdown

The Star's Matt Tully gives Sheriff Frank Anderson a big pat on the back for cracking down on the city's illegal pea shake houses. "Let's also give a big cheer to Sheriff Frank Anderson, Tully writes. "It's no coincidence that the crackdown of these neighborhood blights kicked off after Anderson took control of the merged police department." "It should give residents hope that Anderson -- unlike the mayor, who ran the city police department until Jan. 1 -- isn't afraid of some political pain."

Tully also does a bit of a mea culpa in his column today, admitting he had been wrong on the issue of pea shake houses. Tully said, "Earlier this year, I foolishly wrote that, 'I've never understood the outrage of those people who complain so loudly about pea-shake houses.'" "Well, I was wrong." Tully relates a letter he receieved from Derek Tow:

After that line was published, many people who live near the houses wrote to tell me about crime, litter and loitering. A man named Derek wrote of "having to explain to kids what is going on in that house." He asked about government's blind eye.

"Put this house and operation in any decent neighborhood and see what happens," he wrote. He was right. And his worry is justified. As Anderson said, a benefit to addressing low-level crime is you can prevent worse crime in the future.

Look at the cash and guns seized during recent raids, and it's easy to imagine a bloody night at one of these houses.

Tully compares efforts at cracking down on pea shake houses to those of former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who was successful in dramatically reducing crime there during his eight years as mayor. "It should also give residents hope that Anderson will follow the Rudy Giuliani model -- the one that says don't ignore lesser crimes." "The one that says it's important to send a message that no crime is acceptable." Anderson, as the new head of the merged police department must be given credit for the recent crackdown if we're going to hold him responsible for the rising crime rate. The real test is whether Anderson will have the political will to keep the pea shake houses closed once police have raided them. If the past is any indication, they will re-emerge from such raids even bigger than before.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi (R) would do well to take a cue from Tully and Guiliani on this one. You may recall Brizzi referred to efforts to crack down on pea shake houses as "silly." Brizzi is backing Guiliani for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. Interestingly, Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R) also announced this past week he is backing legislation to strengthen state enforcement of these types of illegal gambling activities because of the unwillingness of local prosecutors, like Brizzi, to take this criminal activity seriously.


Wilson46201 said...

The sad coterie of Dickerson leftovers who holler loudly about "The Ghetto Mafia" will be here quickly denouncing Frankie Bling-Bling or some such nonsense. Notice how quiet this vigilant group of small-time GOP activists have been on the issue of SJR-7 ? Kinda like Mitch Daniels...

Gary R. Welsh said...

Are you happy Sheriff Frank Anderson is cracking down on pea shake houses, Wilson? Based on your previous comments, I get the impression you're in the camp with those who think they cause no harm.

Wilson46201 said...

Personally, I'd just as soon close down all gambling joints, whether legal or illegal. Bars and Legion Halls included!!! I'm no fan of casinos, racetracks or lotteries.

Like I said, some folk who decry loudly "peashakes" are conspicuously quiet when bigotry is to be enshrined in our Indiana Constitution. I'm sure the notorious Jocelyn Tandy has been spewing her well-known homophobic gibberish elsewhere. Actually "hailstone" (aka Mike Jezierwski, GOP slated at-large candidate) has come out in favor "letting the people vote" on my constitutional rights. A phoney libertarian! The Fat Yellow Chicken (aka IndyErnie) is too absorbed by Bart to support equality for LGBT folk.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Anderson may be the one cracking down on the illegal numbers racket (pea shakes) in Indianapolis but the pressure for him to do so was brought on via internet blogs like your own, Abdul's and Indyundercover to just name a few.
The first bust to make any kind of news was the one on Roache Street. After that bust then the rumor hit all the blogs that a Department of Justice investigation was taking place in the Indianapolis number racket. It was not until that DOJ rumor took off that action on shutting down some of the shakes started to take place.
The city's only newspaper did not have one word to say about the DOJ investigation but what did it matter? The Indy Star is not an effective voice in the internet age of the blog as it cannot gather information that quickly.
No, the Sheriff didn't close the shake houses down, the blogs did. This would not have been possible in the pre-blog days.
Some say the numbers house will be up and running again and they very well might but they will all be flushed out again on internet blogs. If they are operating then their locations will be posted on the internet.Law enforcement and politicians cannot ignore these facts and have to act accordingly and swiftly.
My hat's off to all the bloggers like you that FORCED law enforcement to act.

Anonymous said...

The crackdown was long overdue! Getting rid of these illegal pea shakes also means there are fewer robberies (can a criminal enterprise call police to report the robbery of thousands of illegal dollars?), another place prostitutes won't find 'Johns', another place the drug dealer won't find customers, another place a burglar can't fence stolen property.....

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what Tully is smoking and where to get it? Frank A doing anything? He has been hiding since the election. I saw him at the airport Wednesday night, and if I wasn't in a rush I would have stopped and given him a piece of my mind.

I cannot believe that Frank and Bart have not come out and told criminals that they had better be looking over their shoulders because they are going to be taking back the streets.

Crime is crime is crime. The pea shake houses are part of the problem so raiding them, and more importantly, SHUTTING THEM DOWN so they don't re-open is what needs to happen.

indyernie said...

"A phoney libertarian! The Fat Yellow Chicken (aka IndyErnie) is too absorbed by Bart to support equality for LGBT folk."

Rather funny to call me a "fat yellow chicken" Wilson. You run around in dirty t-shirts in need of a bath, your hair died the putrid yellowish/greenish color that you think is chic, while taking orders from Carson and Co. and hiding in these blogs. Your Carson’s “Dumpster diver” and you wonder why people won't take you seriously.

Libertarian? I would consider that over being associated with a party who rejoices in the slaughter of unborn babies while all the time demanding that the constitutional rights of others be reinforced.

You don't know my opinion regarding the LGBT community and it's none of your business anyway.
I will say this, unlike you Wilson I am not in opposition to anybody living the life that they choose to live.

Regarding Mayor Peterson it isn't a stretch to see that he has done nothing about escalating crime in Indy, only the stupid would think otherwise.

Wilson46201 said...

Dear sweet Ernie --- always one to insult personally with crude cracks those he differs with in politics! You will notice he says nothing about SJR-7 which is precisely my point.

By the way, you quote poorly. The phoney libertarian remark was directed to "hailstone" which you deleted.

Anonymous said...

To set the record straight, Wilson screamed bloody murder when the blogs first started whacking on the peashakes.

The tune now changes. (Lack of credibility), meet the pea shake defenders.

A good friend lives one block from one of these pea shakes. Four or five mornings a week, he spends 15-20 minutes cleaning up his yard and the nearby curb. Lately, he's had to resort to using heavy gloves because there are multiple (used) syringes on the ground along with other trash.

And at the peashake, they confiscated seven automatic weapons, not a single one registered. Along with $6 large in cash.

Yeah, tell me again how they "do so much good" "for the community."

Blogs deserve a great deal of credit for shining light on this subject. But a warning: stay alert. They'll be open again soon. Two already have reopened.

I don't even care who takes credit for the raids. Whoever does, it's a mixed political bag.

Maybe it takes a black elected sheriff to do this...I don't know. But it was long overdue.

indyernie said...

"You will notice he says nothing about SJR-7 which is precisely my point."

My opinion is my business.
I'm not on a soapbox on this issue as some are.
However I do listen without judgment. Something some (Wilson) can't seem to do.

That said, Mike Jezierwski is a Republican and my comments about party affiliation holds true regardless of to whom your crude remarks were directed.

Anonymous said...

I think the raids are just a CYA move by certain elected "officials." For starters, the first one they raided was said to be done by NROs, acting on their own. That is the one where the people's representative, Glen Howard, who should have been at the Superbowl, showed up demanding that the people were doing nothing wrong.

When the idiots in the black community (the same idiots who want more gun control, but say nothing about the firearms being pulled from these places) started talking about how this is unfair, etc.. the cops raided a poker place full of whites. Well, the poker place ended up getting a lot of people, including a state trooper. Well, since everything has to be equal in such a diverse PC world, the locals had to crack down on more pea shakes.

Basically, between the rumored federal investigation _and_ the summons of the state trooper, something had to be done if the locals wanted to maintain control. Read: The feds might have started doing their own thing, plus the state could have sent in excise police over the blackeye from the trooper incident. The Indy locals did NOT want this happening, so they picked up the pace with raiding these Pea Shake homes.

The one thing to remember when Gleen Howard and his buddies start demanding more gun control is how they remain tight lipped on the fact that their constituents always have guns in the pea shakes houses. Center township has some issues it needs to face. If they want more and more urban dwellers building and living in $200K+ homes in the center city, they are going to have to clean up the township. Allowing trashy homes is a disgrace. Close these places down. Confiscate the homes as proceeds of an illegal enterprise. Let IFD get some practice by having controlled burns.

Anonymous said...

The peashake operations at these particular locations will not stop until the homes are condemned and taken by the city. They should be bulldozed.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments by some folks.

I'm in the CYA camp. It's a tough call with a new sheriff in town, but I have to go with status quo and decades of local history on this one.

Ultimately, the proof will be in the pudding. Someone downstream is netting a huge profit. Addititionally, some elements within IMPD management have been protecting the peashakes, at the whim of local politicians who are likely in the pockets of those at the profit end.

There was/is a system in place that has ensured the continuity of the entire enterprise. That means that any credible investigation will mean much more than closing down peashakes. It'll lead to indictments within the local police department, within current political leadership, and ultimately ending at the doorsteps of those who are receiving the bulk of the proceeds - which may revolve through accounts and become dispersed as political contributions. Meaning that the downstream effort may be a series of fronts used as a funnel rather than to individual accounts used as repositories.

Relevant progress resulting from an investigation will be the evidence of a legitimate police effort. Without it this is merely a CYA operation, as others have already stated. Folks like Gray and Howard may be scapegoated and embarassed into resigning for "other" reasons in an effort to insulate the operation.

I did notice that Gray stepped forward and offered himself up to an inquiry. I've recommended that he offer himself to authorities. He may have done so already, and if he has I commend him. But if he hasn't, and his attempt to ingratiate himself by opening the door to a council investigation is simple a PR stunt, I think that he's making a grave error.

If a DOJ probe implicates him despite his efforts to control fallout within local political circles, he will have no recourse to demonstrate his willingness to cooperate. If he's been advised against doing so by council, he may want to seek alternate council. That's just my opinion based on limited information. If we look at precedent in past probes from other cities, Gray wouldn't be the first to face strong charges because of an unwillingness to face reality before the storm blows out of local control. Or because of legal council who is protecting interests larger than those of the client.

Anonymous said...

"I'm in the CYA camp. It's a tough call with a new sheriff in town, but I have to go with status quo and decades of local history on this one."

Remember that for years, these homes were in the "ghetto" areas of Indy. In fact, they were surrounded by blocks of ghetto. I don't think violent crime is a problem with the pea shakes. I think the local gang bangers knew not to mess with them. The guns taken really look sad to me. A small revolver, a shotgun with duct tape, etc.. Only a few weapons at that, which make me think they are there only for protection reasons. I have never heard of one of these places being knocked over, likely because they money taken in isn't that much on a day-by-day basis. No reason to knock over a pea shakes home if the most you might get is $10K. Knowing that the occupants have some means of defense+tight security, it likely was not worth it.

Now we have a changing Center Township. We have spats of renewal going on all over the place. So now the previous small crimes of prostitution, trash thrown all over the place, traffic problems, etc. are becoming more of a problem.

Anonymous said...

In other cities, specifically New York, The RICO statue was used to shut operations like the numbers racket (shakes). Hell, New York busted gangs using RICO. The used it to clean up the crime. It was their most effective tool.
No way in hell that these people they arrested should not get hit with racketeering. If memory serves me correctly, you get busted twice in a crime that falls under RICO you're going up the river!
And so where is our Prosecutor on using the RICO statute to get to the people at the top? Maybe he need to step in front of a Grand Jury too.
If anything's done on this mess it's going to have to be outside from the Feds. The DOJ rumor lit some fires under local butts but the Feds need to move in ASAP. There's alot more than just a numbers racket going on in this town. You don't even want to hear about the Capital Improvement Board.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear about the Capital Improvment Board...