OK, seriously, WTF is going on out there?
Let’s start with Monday afternoon when, in the middle of the day, a pedestrian was hit and killed on Interstate 25 near the Garden of the Gods Road exit. The accident shut down southbound I-25, backing up traffic for miles. Just hours later, minutes before I left my downtown office, a car chase and police shooting had occurred between Woodmen Road and Academy Boulevard on Interstate 25. All northbound lanes were blocked (my way home), so backroads it was.
And as I sit here writing this piece, there are reports of more police activity at Garden of the Gods due to an officer involved shooting. Police tape, says an editor at our publishing house, is blocking off the Phillips 66 service station adjacent to the interstate and news reports say the nearby Quality Inn is also involved.
Take these local happenings and sprinkle in national events, from Derek Chauvin to Daunte Wright to the FedEx shooting in Indianapolis (that was only a week ago!), and it’s been one supremely stressful April.
Looking ahead to summer, when crime normally ticks upward and people start acting crazy, I can’t help but be concerned about the next few months. Coming off a lost 2020, there’s a lot of pent up... something... out there. Call it anxiety, anger, anti-social behavior — thanks to quarantines and lost jobs and a general sense of disenfranchisement from so much of the population, I find summer’s creeping ever closer not exciting, but worrisome.
And when you think about it, these issues have been with us well over a year. Prior to the pandemic, mass shootings and police violence were a thing. People being unkind to one another without reason was a thing. We’ve seen bubbles in the water for a while now — the summer heat may be enough to bring this unrest to a full boil.
All this to say, whatever your plans, please stay safe.
— Staff notes originally run in our daily email newsletter, Indy Now, along with news updates, photos of the day, a weekly poll and more. Sign up below.