INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Saturday night riots of May 30 in downtown Indianapolis played out on live TV.
For hours, rioters tore the downtown apart at will. Almost nothing was spared: Windows were broken. Fires were set inside of banks. Flames rose from dumpsters on Pennsylvania Street for hours.
Doug Stephens is the owner of Downtown Comics on Market Street east of Monument Circle near Pennsylvania Street.
“This corner, Market and Penn, was the epicenter of everything going on because of the way the crowd moved and the way that the police pushed them back toward the Circle, and there was a stopping point — it was pretty much a chokepoint — right on the corner right next to my store,” Stephens said.
At that corner, News 8 showed viewers on live TV the scenes of people breaking windows, guns being fired, damage being done to nearly every storefront. Police arrested dozens of people for crimes of opportunity, including stealing from bars and restaurants.
Only a handful have been charge
“People saw an opportunity to take advantage of things. Oftentimes it was alcohol, which obviously didn’t have anything to do with why people were down there for very legitimate social justice reasons,” Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said.
During the riot weekend, two people were killed. One person has been charged with murder. The other homicide case remains unsolved.
Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana released the pictures of several people that broke into the Winner’s Circle Sports Pub at 20 N. Pennsylvania St.
The prosecutor told News 8 that 25 people have been charged so far. A number of cases from the riots remain under review.
“Unfortunately of the charges that we filed, you don’t see any charges for arson. You don’t see any charges for some of the shootings that took place. We obviously charged the one murder case, but there are some additional matters that are still open to investigation and, if we are in a position to file those cases, we absolutely will,” Mears said.
Meanwhile, at the comic book store, Stephens says getting back to business has been tough. Downtown, he says, is not the same place it was a few months ago.
“You know, we are pretty much reliant — the retail and restaurant (businesses) anyway — are reliant on the people from the suburbs coming downtown. It is a tough sell when you have plywood and a lot of sketchiness on the sidewalks,” Stephens said.
About one-third of the cases filed so far by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office are for charges of looting at stores that were miles away from downtown.