INDIANAPOLIS – Community members on Indy’s south side came together Friday night to call for a stop to the violence.
Through prayer, candles and balloons, dozens came together Friday night at Portage Terrace on the city’s south side to remember Eric Taylor.
Taylor was shot and killed by an IMPD officer Tuesday morning after police say he ignored commands to drop his weapon and threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her kids.
The group not only gathered to remember Taylor but also as a grassroots effort to stop the overall violence in Indy.
“We play a game and everybody laughs, firecrackers or gunshots in Indianapolis for the last two years,” said Shawn Bennett who lives in the neighborhood.
Taylor’s family members are not only calling for violence across the city to stop, but they’re asking for more streamlined procedures when it comes to how police decide when to use deadly force.
“Where are our psychologists and sociologists that are supposed to be out here dealing with these people before you shoot and kill him?” said Kim Gray, Taylor’s mother. “They could have tased him. They could have shot him with a rubber bullet. They could have done a number of things.”
“It didn’t have to happen, you could compromise. Tase him,” said Michael Gray, Taylor’s father.
Kim Gray told FOX59/CBS4 that her other son unexpectedly passed away exactly one month before Eric Taylor was shot and killed.
“This is unimaginable,” she said.
Those in attendance called for love and peace in a city that continues to hurt.
And while Taylor’s family members say they believe more could have been done to prevent Tuesday’s deadly officer-involved shooting, they hope no other family ever has to go through this again.
“When it comes to the police, I want them to learn how to communicate with the community, not just pull up and decide, ‘Ok, well this guy doesn’t need to live,'” said Kim Gray. “That I don’t want to see anymore. I’m tired of seeing young men die.”
IMPD says body cameras were activated during the incident. It could take weeks before that video is released.
Meanwhile, organizers of Friday’s vigil say they are working to hold a meeting Monday with city officials about the violence.
“We just want somebody to listen and take us seriously,” said Bennett. “We all have to live in Indianapolis, and we’re Hoosiers. Hoosier hospitality, and Indiana goodness. It is what we do. Now let’s just do it.”