Normally when I sit down to write my weekly NUVO column, I have no trouble coming up with some topic of local interest to pontificate about, until now.I am sitting down at my laptop trying to come up with some kind of commentary on the second Saturday night of Indiana Black Expo and this well is dry.
I mean I'm used to my annual routine of dressing up in my black fitted T-shirt and slacks, working the door at Nicky Blaine's and then taking a walk between martinis and dodging bullets while watching foul-mouthed teenagers who decided clothing was optional run around and try to engage in the same feral breeding that brought them here.Not this year, I got nothing.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indiana Black Expo and 10-Point Coalition all did a really great job making sure last Saturday night was safe and uneventful.By my last count there were less than a dozen arrests, what kind of Black Expo is that?The most drama I got to witness was some idiot who decided to put his gun in his lap while driving not thinking that IMPD has spotters in the parking garages with high-powered equipment that can see inside your vehicle if you have your windows down.That person was arrested, which they should have been based on stupidity alone.
But other than that, nothing, folks.The management at Circle Center Mall started clearing the kids out between 8 and 8:30 p.m.The cops kept the pedestrian traffic moving.They closed off streets to avoid some the cruising that takes places and helps instigate trouble.There was strict enforcement of curfew and I actually saw a lot more of two things that I normally don't see on that second Saturday, parents and white people; a clear sign that things were normal. According to IMPD, there were 14 arrests and 15 curfew violations.Last year on the same Saturday night there were 26 arrests and only five curfew violations.
It also might have had something to with the earlier measures law enforcement had taken to avoid problems caused by unsupervised youth such as approaching the homes of know gang members and "encouraging" them to stay home. Letters were also sent to the homes of public housing tenants warning them that if their kids get in trouble, they could lose their housing subsidy.
I guess if I did have a criticism of the event it's that a lot of my friends who are downtown business owners or restaurant managers took it on the chin financially, doing only about a quarter to half of the business that they normally do.There has got to be a way for Indiana Black Expo to do a better job with the downtown merchants by encouraging its thousands of attendees to patronize those establishments. At the very least they can help build up enough business during the week so that if business drops off on Saturday, it's not as detrimental.
But other than that, it was a pretty uneventful Saturday night and I had to struggle to write this column.However, when I think about what happened back in 2010, when an idiot with a gun decided to start shooting and injured more than a half a dozen people, I guess writing about nothing really isn't all that bad.Hopefully we can try this again next year.