INDIANAPOLIS — Community and faith leaders from around Indianapolis rally to speak out against the continued violence in the city.

That rally, which included clergy, community Leaders, IMPD and Mayor Joe Hogsett, took place IMPD’s Northwest District Headquarters.

The peace rally took place 12 hours after a man was shot to death at 30th and Broadway.

The killing marked the 78th homicide of the year. That is the second deadliest number on this date in the history of the city.

“We’re declaring we’re sick of it,” said Pastor Terry Webster.

Flanked by several members of the clergy, as well as the mayor and police chief, Terry Webster preached a message of unity.

“We just have to begin with the basic principal of trust. That’s one thing that can help us is simply trusting one another,” said Webster.

Unfortunately, 78 homicides before the end of April is a significant increase compared to last year and nearly double what the numbers were prior to 2020.

“The violence that we’re seeing is heartbreaking,” said Webster.

“You and I are going to have to have an acknowledged disagreement,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

When I asked the mayor directly if the city’s public safety plan has been effective in reducing violence, he pointed out only 63 of this year’s 78 homicides have been deemed criminal, seemingly discounting 15 deaths that didn’t result in criminal charges.

“There’s no benefit to the public or you and me to litigate this in this context. What’s being represented is an unprecedented collaboration and cooperation among community leaders,” said Hogsett.

In 2023, there have been 15 non-criminal homicides in less than four months. There were 14 non-criminal homicides for the entire year in 2022.

Non-criminal homicides, as the name implies, are deaths where no criminal charges were filed.

Homicides are determined by the coroner’s office anytime someone is killed by another person. FOX59 believes in reporting the total number of homicides and not just the criminal cases because every death matters, no matter the circumstances. 

For his part, IMPD’s chief insisted once again that police can’t reduce the violence on their own.

“We’ve said it before. This is not a police issue. Not completely,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “It would be much better not to have these crimes. That’s going to take more than your police department.”

The pastors also encouraged the community to do their part by speaking up if crimes happen in their neighborhoods and holding those killers accountable.

According to a release by the pastors:

“The press conference will focus on public safety concerns that are disproportionately impacting communities of color in Indianapolis and community support for the difficult and dangerous work  IMPD does daily to help reduce crime and violence in our city.   We believe that there must be a show of ” Trust ” and a United front between clergy, community leaders, parents, residents, IMPD, the city, and elected officials with a spirit of working together to bring down the high level of violence that concerns us all. We need all hands on deck to address the senseless violence that plagues our city.  The cry of distress and violence is taking the place of righteousness and bloodshed for justice.”