INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—A community event Wednesday evening aimed to address a growing push for violence prevention in parts of Indianapolis.
Dozens of local pastors and hundreds of concerned citizens will took part in the rally at Sutherland Park Cemetery.
The prayer service was organized by the Concerned Clergy and others comes after violence erupted at a funeral procession for a murder victim last week.
A funeral procession ambushed by gunfire left three people wounded and interrupted services for Jasmine Moore who was being laid to rest after being murdered outside Long`s Bakery.
“This can’t be. You just can’t have this going on. As a faith based community, we can’t tolerate such behavior,” said Rev. David Greene.
Rev. Greene, president of the Concerned Clergy, is organizing the peace rally because he says that shooting crossed a line of decency. Police believe suspected gang leader Richard Grundy III was the intended target of both shootings.
One of the three victims hit by gunfire was an innocent woman simply standing outside her neighbors home. She praised pastors for having a prayer service, but like a lot of folks in the area remains too afraid of retaliation to go on camera.
“We hope there will be no retaliation. That’s one of our main concerns, that we’ll go back and forth and back and forth,” said Greene.
The funeral shooting came just days after prosecutors say a 15-year-old boy killed three people at a north side apartment complex. Rev. Greene believes curbing the city’s violent crime takes partnerships between church leaders, schools, businesses and police.
“We’ve got to look at this from the entire system. We’ve got to look at education, economics and public safety to make sure all these are working together so we can have a safer community,” said Greene.
“It is not just an issue for the police,” said Mayor Hogsett. “It has to be the community embracing safe streets.”
Today, Mayor Hogsett joined police chief Bryan Roach in a basketball game with kids along MLK as part of their continued push to build trust with the entire city.
Last week members of the Concerned Clergy personally met with the chief and complemented his willingness to work on together improving public safety.
“The message is we’re all in this together. It’s not just police issue. It’s a community issue. The community is concerned, as we are,” said Roach.
The prayer service started at 6:30 p.m. and ran until 7:30 p.m. at Sutherland Park Cemetery on the northeast side of Indianapolis.