IMPD cracks down on gangs before Black Expo weekend

In 2010, several teenagers were shot during the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. Last year, gang detectives knocked on doors throughout the city warning certain young people to stay away. Last year's Summer Celebration was peaceful even if closing weekend crowds were down. This year, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is employing the same tactic to keep trouble at bay.

Gang detectives have been monitoring social media looking for threats and identifying potential troublemakers.

"We've identified some of the top gang members in the city," said Det. Leonard Nelson of the Youth Violence Reduction Team. "We've reached out to them, we've gone door-to-door in some cases….to knock on their door to communicate to them in some sort of fashion that we're going to be watching."

Officers will also enforce the city's curfew ordinance which directs anyone 14 years old and younger must be off the street by 11 p.m. 15 to 17 year olds face 11 p.m. curfews on weeknights and 1 a.m. curfews on weekends.

"We're definitely going to put an emphasis on the curfew," said Nelson. "We're reaching out to the parent as well and sending a strong message to them: 'if your children are susceptible to the curfew laws, make sure that they are accounted for.'"

Gang members who met at a picnic table in Washington Park said they are staying home this weekend.

"Too old for all that," said one 17 year old. "Just rather chill out at the house."

One teen who witnessed the violence of the 2010 Expo shootings firsthand said he was taking the IMPD suggestions about staying away seriously.

"Cops don't play. Just harass you, they can just hound you and you can't talk back and get arrested."

The teen reminded everyone to have a safe Expo weekend downtown even though he intends to stay home.

"I got babes coming over."

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