In normal times, the events that Indiana Sports Corp brings to the state generate $ 150 至 200 million a year, Vaughn said. March Madness alone is expected to have a more than $ 100 million economic impact, 他说, similar to what one Final Four weekend has generated in the past.
This revenue doesn’t include the mainstays in Indianapolis — its NFL, NBA, or minor league teams — or the Indianapolis 500.
“The priority of the city is for us to the be the sports mecca, and we have invested millions and millions of dollars in becoming that and having that image,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a local pastor, 和维权人士. “And in the meantime, when you look across the city, we have become in the last six years, one of the most violent cities in America.”
As of March
13, according to preliminary incident counts from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
, there haven’t been any criminal homicides in Indianapolis
’ downtown district
, where most of the tournament games will be played and teams will be staying
But the downtown area has had other challenges. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, 只要 10% 至 12% 的 150,000 至 175,000 people who typically work in the urban core went downtown, as offices went remote and businesses closed, according to Bob Schultz, senior vice president of events for Downtown Indy, 公司, a local non-profit.
Then this summer, 关于 100 downtown businesses were damaged during protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, which deterred locals from spending time downtown, Schultz added.
Now ‘one of the most violent cities in America’
The night Nya Cope was killed, 她, 她妈妈, and a friend were on the road, driving to get late-night food on the east side of Indianapolis. As they found themselves caught in a crowd of young people who were gathering for a car show, the 16-year-old told her mother, Nikki Cope, not to worry.
Just moments later, gunshots were fired, and Nya was slumped over in the front passenger seat. A stray bullet had hit her in the head. First responders took her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead after 1 上午. 在5月 3, Cope says.
“I didn’t realize that (violence in the area) could be that bad because I wouldn’t have went,” said Cope, a resident of Marion, 印第安那州, more than an hour north of where Nya was killed.
Nya is just one of the 214 people to die by criminal homicide in Indianapolis in 2020 — a nearly 40% increase from the year prior and the city’s highest annual tally on record, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
As of March 13, 2021, 曾经有 50 criminal homicides in Indianapolis, according to the IMPD’s preliminary incident counts — a nearly 43% increase compared to the same time period last year.
在一月, more than two months after the NCAA announced that all of March Madness would take place in Indiana
, five people and an unborn child were fatally shot
’ “largest mass casualty shooting in more than a decade
,” Police Chief Randal Taylor said at the time
. Less than a week before the first tipoff
, four people, 包括一个七岁的孩子, were shot dead
在关于刺激检查的争论之后, 根据法院文件. Arrests were made in both cases
Josh Barker, IMPD’s deputy chief of operations, said many of the areas in the city that have seen a rise in homicides and aggravated assaults have typically been disproportionately affected in the past. But the problem has become more widespread, 太, 他说.
“There’s much more of a splatter pattern (on the crime map),” Barker said. “We’re seeing those types of crimes occurring really all over the city, which is making it more difficult to refine, reassess and redirect resources.”
Indianapolis isn’t alone in its increasing number of homicides. In metropolitan areas throughout the country, homicides increased by nearly 33%, according to data provided by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, a professional organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the US.
“I think there are multiple variables, especially in 2020,” said Laura Cooper, the group’s executive director, citing Covid-19, 抗议, a backlog in the court system due to the pandemic, criminal justice reform policies as well as proliferation and ease of access to get firearms.
Addressing the rise in violence
As with the rise in violence on the national level, city and neighborhood leaders alike say there is a multitude of factors contributing to the rise in homicides in Indianapolis.
牧师. Harrison — who started a non-profit more than a decade ago called Indy Ten Point Coalition, which aims to help those affected by violence in Indianapolis neighborhoods — says his organization sees three common themes: 贩毒, robberies and personal grievances.
“Years ago, individuals would fight and resolve their conflicts or talk it out. Today they’re not doing that — they’re using guns and knives to settle their conflicts, and we’re seeing a lot of interpersonal shootings and conflicts.”
Five nights a week, 30 至 50 volunteers with Harrison’s organization go into the neighborhoods and work with individuals in the community to provide counsel and resources to people in these areas, particularly males aged 14 至 24, who he said are disproportionately affected by violence.
“When you have the same people out there night after night, you’re able to really build those relationships, and you have the institutional knowledge about the neighborhood, and that has really been effective for us,” 他说.
Shonna Majors, director of violence reduction for the Indianapolis public safety office, said she thinks the pandemic has played a role in the amount of violence in the city.
“A lot of our returning citizens and lower-income residents really count on the hospitality industry for work and having downtown pretty much shut down and close, and that’s changing their economic situations at home,” 她说.
Majors said reducing gun violence is a key part of the city’s efforts to decrease homicides.
That’s something Nya’s mother, Nikki Cope, said she hopes leaders can find a way to manage.
“My whole life was her, 每天, just work and her,” Cope said of her daughter. “But now she’s yanked from me because of someone’s irresponsible behavior.”