Half Past the Month

June 21, 2021

“We see, in too many instances, conflict resolution being meted out by the use of guns. And we are working with community organizations and neighborhood groups to try to stem the tide. And I am cautiously optimistic that the commitment we are making will pay dividends.” — Mayor Joe Hogsett

THE LEADERSHIP of Indianapolis is paralyzed. The brows of the deputy mayors are beginning to display worried, unattractive lines. Nobody wants to face this summer’s surge in crime. 

The statistics are irrefutable. It need only be said that the city has reached per-capita murder parity with Chicago. The reason is not complicated. It can be explained in a paragraph.

Since ire over the death of George Floyd swept the nation, police in Indianapolis as elsewhere have been told to step back. That has embolden an element of the population that according to FBI statistics accounts for 10 times more mayhem even in the best of times.

That’s the full explanation: The violently inclined feel more comfortable being violently inclined, thus more violence.

What is complicated is the constitutional incapability of Indianapolis politicians to acknowledge any of that. And as a result they cannot draw the causal line between facile policing and murderous behavior, or even describe out loud the necessary demographic profile of the crimes.

So they stand there staring at an amorphous chalk outline on the sidewalk. If asked, they will say that a particular group is not by nature inculpatory, so past injustices must somehow be involved. But this is said quietly and only in sympathetic company because it can no longer withstand open debate. 

What will happen now is predictable. The leadership of Indianapolis will not — cannot —change. Those with enough money will flee the insanity while the hapless souls left behind become more fearful and eventually harden into warring groups.

And historians will wonder why such obvious commentary as this ever had to be written down. — tcl


Leave a Reply