Abdul and IndyUndercover

Dateline: Sun 18 Nov 2007

Anonymous blogs have their place, but maybe it's time for IndyUndercover to take off the mask. Will the real Abdul please stand up?

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, as everyone knows, is Mr. Man About Indy -- he powers Abdul in the Morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily at 1430-AM, and a fine talk show it is, lively and often outrageously funny.

Shabazz also writes a blog, Indiana Barrister, where his persona is decidedly different from his talk-show gig: much more analytical, somber, tempered. There's more, but listing all Abdul's accomplishments and activities as reported in his bio makes me want to take a nap.

So is there any connection between Abdul and IndyUndercover, a blog whose mission is "to serve and protect LEOs from those who would do them harm!" (Hmm, funny, the author "Joe Friday" doesn't say "do US harm."

Apparently someone at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department thinks a connection exists, or so sez Shabazz; Shabazz wrote Nov. 16 that he'd heard some cops were headed to his apartment with a search warrant and attempt to confiscate his personal computer. (!!!)

"They reportedly wanted to know what my 'connection' is with Indy Undercover," writes Shabazz on Barrister. Later he speculates that they're after him because he's chasing a story about a wealthy local Dem allegedly accused of molesting a child.

But back to IndyUndercover. Writes Shabazz:

"...I freely admit to reading Indy Undercover (the police blog) and I know some of the guys who do it. I'll even admit it was my idea over lunch one day. I got tired of hearing them complain and told them to start a blog like everyone else in this town."

OK, so IndyUndercover was Abdul's idea, we've got that on record. And how interesting that IndyUndercover just a few days ago was debating whether it was time to close shop, in wake of the mayoral election results, but -- drumroll --- has now decided to stay in business. Even though the blog is a lot of work, etc. etc. etc.

Why the new resolve? Because of what almost happened to Abdul, natch. Here's what the cop blog had to say Saturday:

"The straw that broke the camel's back was IMPD was going to serve a search warrant on a member of the local media to get his computer to confiscate the correspondence between him and this blog." The blog then links to Indiana Barrister and Abdul's statement that he was being investigated.

Coincidence? Oh, please. Nor is it coincidence that IndyUndercover has a strong and, I think, singular voice -- sort of a cross between a stand-up comedian (which Abdul is) and a jabbery talk show host (ditto).

No question, IndyUnderCover does a fine job keeping the searchlight on law enforcement and crime in Marion County. But this notion that the brains behind it are only a bunch of pissed-off cops doesn't float. First, the blog looks like it takes a fair amount of real work; how would busy, stressed-out officers have time for that? Second, the blog, while it obviously has plenty of tipsters and insiders, has, as noted, a singular sound.

Isn't that Abdul calling? Will the real IndyUndercover stand up?

And why, for the record, should I care? I find it disingenuous. If the cop blog is creating so much stir that cops supposedly are about to bust into Shabazz' apartment, maybe it's time for some accountability. Take it on the chin, Joe Friday.

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