Indianapolis business owners are slamming Mayor Joe Hogsett for the lack of a cohesive plan to get the city rolling again nearly three weeks after rioters tore through the downtown area.
Brian Shapiro, owner of Shapiro’s Delicatessen at 808 S. Meridian St, says his deli was spared vandalism related to the riots, but he claims customers are staying away from downtown amid fears of becoming the victims of further violence.
As first reported by WISH-TV, Shapiro wrote a strongly-worded letter to city leadership demanding action.
Shaprio told News 8 in an interview that the mayor should have intervened much earlier in the riots.
“That didn’t happen … got two people killed, one a very affable Shapiro’s customer, six people injured, 120 businesses damaged, and millions of dollars wasted, companies not coming back, and the years we have spent to build a downtown viable residential community got scarred.”
Shapiro specifically cited the failures of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
“Because he is not out and about, Dancing Joe, Photo Joe, that I have known for 40 years, very social person is not out,” Shapiro said.
Chris Karnavas, owner of the Jack’s Donuts franchise, also expressed his frustration with Mayor Joe Hogsett to News 8.
Karnavas says his Jack’s Donuts location had just reopened during the coronavirus pandemic prior to the riots. His store was the first businesses to get hit when the violence broke out.
“Extremely surprised that we have not heard from the mayor. Nothing about any of the rioting, nothing about how we are going to rebuild this city, how we are going to revitalize it, how we are going to bring people down, how we are going to be safe again, and how we are going to get the economy back and running downtown,” Karnavas said.
Meanwhile, additional allegations have been levied against IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and the Mayor’s office that IMPD officers were told to “stand down” and “pull back” as rioters inflicted millions of dollars in damages upon our city.
WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel have additional details on those allegations in the clip below.