No peace in Marion County, no good will to men

Dateline: Sun 24 Dec 2006

Checking the Star online at 6 a.m., it is shocking to read that four people were murdered in four separate shootings in Indianapolis on this Christmas weekend.

One man, 62 years old, was killed during a robbery of a small sporting good store on West Washington Saturday afternoon; he refused to lie down on the floor and was murdered.

The other incidents: a man was shot on a residential parking lot at 4:30 p.m. Saturday; a man was found shot to death at 6:10 a.m. Saturday on West 38th Street; and a man died early in the morning at Wishard Hospital after being shot during a fight on the Southside.

The last graph of the story: "This year is now the third-bloodiest on record in Marion County. A record 162 homicides were reported in the county in 1998. The second-highest death toll was 160 in 1997."

The homicide toll in Marion County as of this writing is 151. During the two previous years when records were set, police and others blamed the spike in part on the crack-cocaine drug trade. I'm not sure what the explanation is today, but this is clear:

We need to take back the streets. Support law enforcement. Get a contract for IPD. Hire police. Improve morale. If ever priorities should be clear, this is it. All the bravado about sports and new hotels and Downtown and the governor's agenda and the police merger are meaningless when the capital city is not safe. Criminals know a soft spot; what is it going to take to make public safety No. 1? How many more have to die?

comment: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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