IMPD develops summer violence crackdown strategy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 18, 2014) — At a time when the top brass of Indianapolis Metro Police Department is developing a strategy to attack crime in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, like 2013’s Project Gotham, violence didn’t take the weekend off in Indianapolis.

An IMPD officer was questioned after he shot at a driver who he says tried to run him over on the city’s west side. The man was found to have outstanding warrants.

A teenage girl was wounded in a Saturday night shooting that led investigators to three neighborhoods on the southeast side.

A victim was reported in critical condition after being shot in the 4100 block of North Tacoma Avenue Sunday afternoon.

In an unrelated case, Delman Alexander was arrested late last week after a pursuit that led to a foot chase and the recovery of a gun. Detectives want to know if Alexander is a witness to at least one retaliation shooting in the last year.

“Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord,” said Police Chief Rick Hite quoting the Old Testament and recalling his days growing up in Gary, Ind., where he said people in his neighborhood took revenge into their own hands. “Every one of those guys we ran into later in life didn’t do so well.”

Hite said the stress of revenge led some of those people in Gary to early fatal heart attacks.

It’s a sentiment that’s well known to young people on Indianapolis’ west side.

“Because some people take it upon themselves to seek revenge because they so hurt without that person,” said Dailand Butler, 17, who’s about to graduate Ben Davis High School and told FOX59 he’s desperately seeking a way out of his neighborhood. Graduating from high school, Butler said, “is really important because if you don’t, after high school you gonna be stuck here in the neighborhood for the rest of your life.”

Rev. Charles Harrison of Ten Point Coalition told FOX59 News that he is organizing another meeting between Mayor Greg Ballard and local gang members so they can explain life in the street and their hopes of getting out and the mayor can encourage them to live up to their end of the bargain if they’re seeking city help.

“I would sit the mayor down and tell him straight up how it is,” said Justin Collier, 17, and a month from receiving his diploma. “You need to get more programs out here for these kids to do ’cause these little kids got nothing to do after school.”

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and Indy Public Safety Foundation Chairwoman Melissa Proffitt Reese recently announced a 5K Public Safety Run set for June 7 to raise money to fund summer youth programs.

About $21,000 has already been committed as DPS is seeking other corporate, foundation and private sponsors.