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Mayoral candidates disagree on how to stop Indianapolis street spinning

Roundup from Indianapolis Mayoral Debate on WISH-TV, from News 8 at 5 p.m. Oct. 24, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It is not uncommon for police to recover stolen cars, illegal guns, and drugs at spinning events that have become very common in Indianapolis. In the first, live televised debate of the 2023 mayoral election on WISH-TV, the candidates failed to land on common ground on how to fix the problem. 

Monday night, questions were asked directly to the mayoral candidates. Joe Hogsett, seeking a third term as mayor of Indianapolis, said, “So they are addressing the problem, and I think quite adequately.” Republican challenger Jefferson Shreve followed up with a response saying, “I don’t think we are addressing it adequately. I think it is a recurring problem.”

In March, I-Team 8 showed a parking lot in the 2900 block of Lafayette Road, which police say the owner spent $60,000 to resurface and paint the parking lot. Video captured by police of an illegal spinning event that nearly destroyed the new paint marking the parking spaces and the new seal coat, which was covered with a fresh coat of tire rubber. Hogsett says a partnership between the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana state police is working well.

“So, neighbors and state police and IMPD all working together. I think at last count I knew that a dozen or so arrests had already been made, and maybe since my last information, maybe even more arrests have been made,” Hogsett said.  

When I-Team 8 did the story in March, 40 people had been arrested, and more than 80 stolen cars recovered. IMPD now says that 149 people were arrested for reckless driving this year.

Not all of those were spinning-related, and many times, the people caught spinning or blocking the street for these events were arrested for illegal guns, drugs, and stolen cars. Shreve said he was with police recently when they broke up a spinning event. He says the Indiana State Police partnership is really a bailout and that IMPD has its hands tied by the restrictive policy. 

“And the Indiana State Police have thankfully come to our rescue, but the IMPD ought to have the resources to deal with problems within the city of Indianapolis such as this. The IMPD is stifled by the pursuit limitations that keep them from going after some of the perpetrators,” Shreve said.