|The faces of those who are killing Indianapolis|
Three violent home invasions within the past week on the north side of Indianapolis - including one Tuesday morning - are frightening homeowners, who met Tuesday night to look for answers.
Hundreds of people from Meridian Hills and Williams Creek attended a neighborhood meeting at Second Presbyterian Church on N. Meridian Street to discuss how they can protect themselves and look out for each other.
Many inside the packed meeting told officers they're simply scared. They said these violent crimes were also a wake-up call for renewed vigilance.
They attended the meeting to find out where the investigation stands and what they can do to stay safe. Police assured them they're conducting extra patrols in the north side neighborhoods, both in uniform and undercover.
They said even though they've made several arrests in the home invasion last week that involved a sexual assault on a mother and daughter, they have identified more suspects in that case who they plan to question soon.
Officers also talked about how to protect yourself. They said in these recent crimes, the bad guys were casing homes, looking for easy targets.
Some simple steps for safety: keep your garage closed, keep valuables away from windows and always report unusual activity.
Many neighbors said after listening to police, they felt safer than when they walked in the meeting.
"We have two little kids at home and, you know, regardless whether they say it's a light crime area, it just happens that in the last month there's been a lot within walking distance of our home and we just don't feel secure anymore. So I wanted to find out what's being done and if crimes are related and get more information," said Patricia Cominsky.
"It's just crazy how it makes you think differently," added her husband, Joe. "So as Patricia said, we've increased the security system and lighting property differently and better than we used to and trying to do whatever we can to protect those kids."
"I think we all have to be on guard. I think it was helpful to find out that they (police) think it was probably random and there are things we can all do - the most important being, when you see this many of our neighbors together, that you really do need to report things and that was something they tried to make clear," said Pam Rons.
Simple solution if you’re a
homeowner in this area of Indianapolis under siege by black criminality? Call
9-1-1 if you see a black person. [More neighbors calling 911 to report suspicious
activity, Fox 59 Indianapolis, 11-7-13]:
Indianapolis Police Chief Richard "Rick" Hite (who advocated on behalf of black police officers as President of the Vanguard Justice Society when he was employed in Baltimore ) is the black man who will preside over the city's collapse into Detroit 2013 status
In the wake several home invasions in Indianapolis, dispatchers at the Marion County 911 call center report an uptick in calls from concerned residents about suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.
“We’ve seen an increase with the recent activity,” said Carolea Walters, director of the call center. “We’ll have a lot of calls on suspicious type vehicles. People that don’t fit in the neighborhood.”
In one call, a woman told a dispatcher she thinks she’s heard a popping noise that sounds like gunshots outside her home and decided to report it.
“I don’t even know if it’s anything,” she told the dispatcher. “We just had a neighborhood meeting and they told us just to call if we hear anything.”
Being alert and reporting strange behavior is exactly what the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is trying to teach residents to do. It offers free crime prevention presentation year round and held one Thursday evening at the Northside Knights of Columbus on E. 71st St.
Deputy prosecutor Daphne Whitmire showed homeowners simple ways to make their homes less attractive to criminals.
“I think with recent events it kind of wakes you up to say, you know, really crime does happen anywhere,” she said.
Yes, crime of some sort does exist everywhere; brutal home invasions, brutal murder, random nonfatal shootings, and violent crime occurs wherever black people are found.
|Increases in black crime/homicide drives productive white citizens to the suburbs in search of safe (non-black) communities|
The call for more black police by the current power structure in Indianapolis is indicative of this demographic change, with the belief a diverse force can somehow convince black people to abide by the law. [IMPD seeks more minority recruits, WTHR NBC Indianapolis, 10-9-13]:
IMPD is aggressively recruiting more minority police officers.
The number of African-Americans in their target area of Marion County is 28 percent, but the number of black officers on the force, is just 13 percent. Hispanics make up nine percent of the population in Marion County, but only two percent of IMPD officers.
The department wants to close that gap so IMPD better represents the community it serves.
"I feel like I'm in the place I need to be in," said IMPD Ofc. Tronoy Harris. Harris is a six-year veteran of the department.
"This is actually where I grew up in these apartments right here," he said while driving his beat.
He's serving on the same streets where he walked and played as a child.
"When I was growing up, this was an area where people were looked at as they had money," Harris said. "We used to play football right here in this little field here. "It's sad to see what kind of beating this neighborhood has taken due to the drug and gang activity."
That's what motivates Harris, one of a dwindling few minority police officers serving on the department. It's why he sees the desperate need to recruit more minorities.
"The individuals in that community like to see people who look like them," he said.
"Going back to civil rights, law enforcement was looked upon as the antagonist," said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.
Hite acknowledges an image problem when it comes to the minority community, but he also has a few ideas to change that.
"I'm a good example. I rose from a cadet to chief, so it can happen, so we gotta spread the good news. There are some good things happening," Hite said.
[Indianapolis minority police officers group now has a home to promote understanding, Indy Star, 10-30-13]:
An organization that advocates for minority police officers moved into new offices — its first office ever, actually — on Wednesday, and its leaders hope that coincides with movement into a new era.
The Minority Police Officers Association, aiming to represent ethnic minorities and women on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, has moved into a space provided at the Indianapolis Urban League, 777 Indiana Ave.
In addition to an office, the group will have access to conference rooms for training and meetings.
But in other aspects of policing, race, gender and ethnicity continue to pop up as barriers to effective communication — within the department and with the community — and that translates to less-than-ideal police work, [MPOA President Lt. John] Walton said.
Old models and practices must be overhauled, and the makeup of the department has to change to ensure fairness to police officers themselves and to the people they are sworn to serve, he said.
African-American police officers in Indianapolis are seeking support as they move forward with an agenda that they say will not only benefit them, but also the local Black community in general.
Members of Fairness in Law Enforcement (FILE), which represents many of the city’s Black police officers, will meet next week to discuss the goals of their agenda. The general public is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held on Jan. 25 at the Julia Carson Government Center.
“We want to engage the community in meaningful conversations about diversity and equality in the police department, as well as the department’s relationship with the community,” said Kendale Adams, president of FILE and an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).
A practice that has contributed to a tense relationship between police and members of the local Black community, Dancler added, is officers being assigned to areas where they may not know the culture.
“Often what we have noticed is the acceptance of applicants who might live outside of Indianapolis, or even out of the state,” Dancler said. “Then those same individuals are assigned to patrol a predominantly Black area, even if they are not familiar with the community or have had no cultural sensitivity training.”
Lack of diversity and the presence of officers unfamiliar with the culture of a particular area, Adams and Dancler said, can lead to incidents such as the encounter that 15-year-old Brandon Johnson, who is biracial, had last May with several officers that left him visibly injured.
That incident would have never happened if IMPD had more diversity, Adams said.“We’re not saying Black officers are better, but our presence can help bring a more peaceful resolution to a situation,” said Adams. “When a Black officer tells another brother, ‘Man, get your tail back on that porch,’ it has more of an impact than a nervous white officer who might be concerned that the guy will try to attack him.”
As part of its current goals, FILE also would like to see minority officers receive better departmental assignments. Too few African-American officers, they say, are assigned as supervisors in critical units such as investigations, operations and professional standards.
A man attacked in his own home is speaking out, revealing a new plan to protect his family and giving a warning to all of us.
Three men held David Young and his 17-year-old son at gunpoint as they ransacked and robbed the family home on the south side of the city near Banta Road in the Buck Creek Village neighborhood.
It was just one of at least nine recent home invasions in Indianapolis.
Young and his 17-year-old son where held on the ground of their home at gunpoint while three men stole wallets, computers and video games.
"I don't want to let this change my life to where I'm scared and running," said Young of living with the aftermath of what happened this past Sunday night.
So Young is standing his ground with new locks on his doors.
"We also added some extra latches," he explained.
He's also installed a home security system.
"It gives you a little sense of security," Young said.
He is also having serious thoughts for the first time in his life about buying a gun."I never really cared about having a gun, but if it means keeping my family safe..." Young said that's what he's willing to do.
Sunday was the first time Young couldn't do that.
"It's the worst feeling ever to feel helpless to protect your children and there's nothing you can do," explained the father.
Young was helpless, though, with a gun to the back of his head after three men attacked him in his garage.
"They started screaming, 'Give me your wallet! Give me your wallet! Who else is inside the house?'," Young recalled.
"I was just, like, 'Please don't hurt my son. Please don't hurt my son. Just don't hurt us. You know, take whatever you want'," Young said he told the men.
In this neighborhood, we leave the garage doors open," Young said. "We joke with neighbors, never had any worries whatsoever. Now, I'm always watching everything and trying to figure out every single way that I can protect myself and the ones I care for."
"I'll never forget it. Ever," he said. "It's hard to go to sleep."
For Young, that's the real crime.
Yet another American city is destined to die the same way Detroit did; not by a foreign military invasion, but by a demographic purge of the founding population by a united racial group that views its criminals as more worthy of defending than the population they supplant.
13 WTHR Indianapolis