INDIANAPOLIS– If you’ve been wondering where Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett was on the second night of the 2020 riots in Indianapolis, he has an answer for you.
“I was working from my home. I was in constant contact with my representatives and with IMPD. After things started to dissipate that evening, I got about two or three hours of rest. I got up at 4 o’clock the next day and worked the rest of the weekend and met with organizers of the protests. I ultimately decided to end the protests and that was effective. George Floyd changed the world. I’m glad to say that we’ve had 300 protests since then without incident,” said Hogsett on Monday night against his Republican challenger Jefferson Shreve in a debate on WISH-TV.
Shreve says that sounds commendable, but not consistent with others who were on the scene such as IMPD, the 911 staffing center, and the Governor’s office. Shreve didn’t give any specifics other than that.
“But I can tell you that a Mayor Shreve would have been on the scene, whether in an emergency command center or the City-County building because that’s how you lead,” said Shreve.
State lawmakers eliminated Indiana’s requirement for licenses to carry a handgun. Hogsett says permitless carry has been “disastrous,” particularly for Indianapolis, and needs to be repealed.
“Permitless carry has done really nothing more than put guns in the hands of the people who have absolutely no business possessing a handgun or any other type of weapon of that nature. And I want to be clear about that, because responsible gun owners have nothing to fear. It is those who are misusing the availability of guns that, I think, we need to focus our attention on,” said Hogsett.
Shreve says he believes in the right of people to possess handguns. He supports bringing back a permit process to be able to have a gun.
Revolving Door of Crime in Marion County
State Police Superintendent Doug Carter has said that crime in Marion County has gotten out of control because criminals are back out on the street too easily. Shreve agrees with Carter.
Shreve says the criticism is fair.
“If I’m elected, I will use this office and my voice to advocate for a working criminal justice that will close that revolving door to take the violent offenders off the streets of Indianapolis,” said Shreve.
Hogsett says he believes added enforcement is needed, and he has been working to add three special assistant attorneys to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute violent crime in Marion County. Hogsett says the federal prosecutor has more tools available to address violent crime, Hogsett says.
Improving Downtown Indy after COVID
Shreve says fully staffed offices downtown are not likely to come back, but he does not want to tax Marion County people to create incentives to bring employees back downtown. He says we need to repurpose the downtown buildings for other needs. However, Shreve says, the perception of downtown safety needed to be address, and the residential growth has been in a limited section of the city.
Hogsett agrees the five-day workweek with commuters will probably never return to how it worked before the pandemic. But, 25,000 new residents now call downtown home as part of a Downtown Indy Inc. program, and the city government provided a $3.5 million grant to that effort. He believes more people will continue to move to homes downtown.
Hogsett says people who live downtown know it’s safe, but Shreve says he hears the complaints about safety all the time.
You can hear the rest of the debate below.
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