INDIANAPOLIS - Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are investigating five homicides that have occurred within 36 hours. Authorities said two homicides happened Sunday and three killings occurred on Monday.
The number of criminal homicides so far in 2013 stands at 109, up nearly 20 percent over the same date last year.
Those who track the violence have noticed some disturbing trends.
"It seems to be glorified today among the younger people. They just don't seem to have any conscience when it comes to committing this kind of violence," Rev. Charles Harrison, president of Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, said.
The profile of this year's homicide victims shows that four in every five victims have an adult criminal history.
In addition, 42 percent had prior firearms arrests, 62 percent had a prior drug arrest and 75 percent had at least one arrest for a crime of violence against another.
"The acceptance of violence in part of the community, that's a major issue. And I would submit to you, that would probably have a great impact on the amount of violence we have and certainly the homicides we have," Jim White, public safety lecturer at Indiana University, said.
Experts and criminologists said the true measure of violence in a community is tied to the number of serious bodily assaults, and by that measure, Indianapolis has done a better job.
"So far this year, the police department has been able to push down aggravated assaults by 17 percent over where we were this same time last year," IMPD spokesman Chris Bailey said.
One silver lining in the violent year is that IMPD officers have solved 72 percent of this year's homicides. That compares to the national clearance rate of 50 percent.
Police said two-thirds of the victims killed between January and November were black males. Officials said 79 of those 96 homicide victims were killed with firearms, and police think drugs were a factor in at least two of every five homicides.
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