Community leaders ask for peace ahead of weekend and Thanksgiving holiday

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INDIANAPOLIS — As Indianapolis nears another record setting year of homicides, community leaders want people to make sure they don’t turn a family’s holiday into a time of grief.

”Would you want to be sitting around the kitchen table weeping and crying because your loved one has been taken?” said Pastor Derek Jefferson, the President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Indianapolis or IMAGI.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 19, 244 people have been killed by another in Indianapolis. This is closing in on back-to-back record-breaking years of violence in Indianapolis.

Jefferson is asking those who may be considering violence to think first.

”How would you feel if someone took your brother, your nephew, your sister, your niece,” he said.

With Thanksgiving just days away, Aaron Williams, the leader of City of Peace Coalition, doesn’t want violence to ruin a family’s holiday.

”At the rate that we’re going here and the violence that is occurring, unfortunately, someone may not be here and we don’t want that to be the case,” Williams said.

Williams said he never imagined Indianapolis would be at this point, after breaking the homicide record in 2020

”Never thought that we would eclipse that number, we are approaching two years and over 500 homicides at the rate that we’re going,” he said.

Williams said this senseless violence has created a new norm for Indianapolis.

”Our community has become desensitized to the idea that taking a life is not okay,” he said.

Williams, Jefferson and more than a hundred other faith leaders recently came together to spread the message “Peace in the Streets. Stop the Violence.”

”I’m going to call it a campaign for peace,” Jefferson said.

In the coming weeks, Jefferson plans to spread these signs across the city.

”I would like to take a sign and put it in every area that we have had a homicide in. I hope that people see it, they will think twice, even the perpetrator,” Jefferson said.

All to keep peace at the front of the mind and stop a family from losing a loved one during the holidays.

”What we don’t want is a mother or a father or any loved ones at the Thanksgiving table crying and mourning, planning a funeral for another senseless tragedy,” Williams said.

If you’re interested in have a “Peace in the Streets. Stop the Violence” sign for you home or neighborhood, you can find them on the IMAGI website.

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