“Let’s talk” rally urges witnesses to call police

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (December 6, 2015)– Gregory Wilson, Sr., was angry as he stood in front of the packed pews at New Era Baptist Church, surrounded, by ministers and facing families who, like himself, had lost loved ones to violence.

“My son’s killer is still out there,” he said. “Let’s turn these people in.”

It was on October 30th, not far from the Children’s Museum, that someone gunned down Gregory Wilson, Jr.  Still, five weeks later, no one has been arrested.

Wilson Senior, a top aide to Mayor Greg Ballard, stood side-by-side with pastors and members of the Ten Point Coalition, blasting other community leaders who refused to take up the “Lets Talk” cause out of petty jealousies.

“How can we sit here and say, ‘Only a few people,’ or, ‘Because it’s Ten Point or this group that we not gonna go,’? Shame on them and, you know, shame on them.”

More than a dozen ministers led the way as approximately one hundred people marched from the West 30th Street church to the corner of 20th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Street in a rally to encourage neighbors and witnesses to cooperate as police try to get a handle on Indianapolis’ skyrocketing murder tally and plummeting solve rate.

Ryan McConnell of the Wood of North Kessler community marched alongside the group he had little in common with until a month ago when one of his neighbors was brutally murdered during a home invasion robbery.

Two men were arrested and charged with the killing of Amanda Blackburn, a young mother and pregnant wife of a minister, in a case built on forensic evidence, tips phoned in by the community and the possible cooperation of a potential associate.

“We did what we hope anybody would do,” said McConnell as he walked along. “We spoke out against it, we didn’t hide, we weren’t afraid, and we banded together and we asked what can we do to make a positive impact, and we did all those things and more.

“I think people don’t speak up sometimes because they’re either held hostage by the fear of some sort of retaliation or getting involved and you can’t do that. You have to push through that show a brave face and communicate that with the police.”

IMPD homicide detectives wish that attitude was more prevalent in the South Butler/Tarkington community, where ten-year-old Deshawn Lee Swanson was murdered during a wake for a deceased grandmother.

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