Column: Is Bloomington a ‘relatively safe place’?

The text on the left and the right are identical except for the inclusion of the word "relatively" in the version on the right. Here's the text on the right: Bloomington is a relatively safe place but we are not immune to issues with which our entire nation is dealing. This senseless incident is a reminder that we should all look out for each other, be aware of our surroundings and seek to combat racism and prejudice in all its forms wherever and whenever we encounter it. Both versions have the city of Bloomington logo and a timestamp for the time of publication. The time for the left is 12:43 p.m. The time for the right is 12:48
Left is a screen grab of the final paragraph of Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s Jan. 14, 2023 Facebook statement about a Jan. 11 bus stabbing. Right is a screen grab of the final paragraph of the same Facebook statement five minutes later. The only difference is the insertion of the word “relatively” to modify “safe.”

On Saturday, a statement from Bloomington mayor John Hamilton was posted on his official Facebook page denouncing the racist stabbing of an 18-year-old woman, which took place three days earlier.

Between 12:43 p.m. and 12:48 p.m., an edit was made to the statement’s final paragraph. Instead of describing Bloomington as “a safe place,” the revised statement says Bloomington is “a relatively safe place.”

The revision is consistent with the fact that perceptions of safety are not uniform—across people, specific areas within Bloomington, or time of day. Continue reading “Column: Is Bloomington a ‘relatively safe place’?”

Bloomington police: Suspect in bus passenger assault charged with attempted murder

A 56-year-old Bloomington woman has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with a stabbing of a public bus passenger, according to a Thursday afternoon news release from city police.

The stabbing took place the day before, on Jan. 11, according to the Bloomington police department (BPD) news release.

The assault took place Wednesday around 4:45 p.m. on a Bloomington Transit bus, when it stopped at the intersection of 4th Street and the B-Line Trail, according to the news release.

The suspect, Billie R. Davis, was initially booked into Monroe County Jail on a charge of battery, which is a level 5 felony.

But after the victim’s wounds had been cleaned at the hospital, it was determined that she had several stab wounds to her head, and the charge was amended to attempted murder. The news release describes the victim as an 18-year-old Carmel woman.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident, or thinks they have more information, to call detective Rob Shrake at (812) 349-3352. Continue reading “Bloomington police: Suspect in bus passenger assault charged with attempted murder”

New Year’s Eve stabbing suspect arrested, Bloomington police report

Bloomington police have reported the arrest of a 36-year-old Bloomington man as a suspect in a stabbing that took place downtown in the early hours of Jan. 1.

According to a Bloomington police department (BPD) news release on Jan. 8, 2023, Ryan Johnson was arrested the previous day and charged with three felonies: Attempted Murder; Aggravated Battery; and Battery with a Deadly Weapon.

The victim was a 32-year-old man, who provided police with details of the events before the stabbing, according to the news release. Continue reading “New Year’s Eve stabbing suspect arrested, Bloomington police report”