INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Residents in the Butler Tarkington neighborhood are marking a milestone in their fight against crime. The north side area reached 200 days without a homicide Sunday. A safety rally and march are planned to celebrate peace.
The 200-day streak comes after a violent 2015. People living in the Butler Tarkington neighborhood were forced to deal with a spike in fatal shootings. One of the victims was 10-year-old Deshaun Swanson, who was killed in a drive-by shooting. The numerous cases led to an outcry from the community.
Neighbors joined forces with the Indy Ten Point Coalition to put a stop to the violence. Indianapolis Metro Police also stepped up patrols in the area.
“It’s just been remarkable what has happened in this neighborhood, ” said Rev. Charles Harrison, from the Indy Ten Point Coalition. “The residents were saying they were tired of the violence, the drug trafficking in the neighborhood and they were just not going to tolerate that anymore.”
One resident says the changing atmosphere on his block is clear.
“Last year, we wouldn’t haven’t been able to stand out on this corner without violent threats,” said Wallace Nash. “As you can see, the neighborhood is definitely quiet, peaceful, getting back to how it should be.”
Harrison said residents started to cooperate with police in order to stop criminal activity. Just last month, IMPD and Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the arrests of members of the “Get Money Gang” (GMG), which was involved in some conflicts in the neighborhood.
“People started talking about who was involved in the homicides even to police,” Harrison said. “And, that was key in investigation into GMG when they made all those arrests. People started saying ‘this is what we really know.'”
The residents and members of the Indy Ten Point Coalition plan to show their commitment to peace with a rally and march Sunday afternoon. The rally is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. a the North United Methodist Church, near 38th and Meridian. The march will follow.