I grew up at 537 N Hamilton Avenue, across the street from where seven people were murdered last night. My dad owns three adjacent properties on Hamilton (my inheritance), and I have lots of family still living there. This time last year Mel and I were living at 541 N Hamilton.
A crime like this has been a long time coming in that area. I don’t want to paint the entire Near Eastside with the same brush, but there are quite a few bad pockets over there. The 500 block of N Hamilton is one such area. There’s a pervasive lawlessness that gives it a Wild West feel. There are abandoned cars and houses, frequent fires, lots of pit bulls and Rotts, and late night street brawls. During the day, scores of men laze about with nothing to do. The crazies get crazier as the summer heat intensifies.
I’m not going to bother going into the sociological explanations of what’s wrong with our inner city neighborhoods. The Mayor and the City of Indianapolis need to use this crime as an opportunity to address the resolute helplessness that our inner city citizens face daily. This was not an isolated crime.