Richard Essex, WISH, August 12, 2021
July was the most violent month in the history of Indianapolis with 32 people murdered, and dozens more have been shot and stabbed.
On a cold January morning, four adults and an unborn child were murdered inside of their east side home.
In March, a 7-year-old girl along with three of her adult relatives were murdered after an argument.
In another mass shooting in April, eight people were gunned down at a FedEx facility; the suspect committed suicide before police arrived.
Mayor Joe Hogsett said on the day of the FedEx shooting, “We must guard against resignation or even despair. The assumption that this is simply how it must be and that we might as well get used to it.”
As of Wednesday, Indianapolis has had 873 people shot, stabbed or both, with 163 people murdered in Indianapolis in 2021.
The murder rate in Indiana’s capitol city has been on the rise since before Hogsett, a Democrat, was sworn into office in 2016. The staffing levels of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department have hovered just below 1,700 sworn officers. The city has a budget for 1,743, and the mayor proposed recently adding another 100.
Morale among the rank and file is historically low, and officers are leaving at an alarming rate. Indiana State Police troopers have been helping patrol downtown.
The Fraternal Order of Police places part of the blame on rise in crime on the courts. Marion County has more than 4,000 people wearing court-ordered GPS monitoring devices. Many are out on bond and awaiting trials; others were sent home on probation. The FOP says an increasing number of suspects and victims of crimes committed in Indianapolis are wearing a GPS device.
According to calculations from the Fraternal Order of Police, the city could see from 275 to 300 homicides this year.