INDIANAPOLIS– Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Randal Taylor held a press conference Tuesday to “respond to violence in Indianapolis neighborhoods.”
The briefing comes as Indianapolis has seen more homicides this year than any other year prior. There have been 187 total homicides so far in 2020, with 160 of those being considered murders. The previous homicide record, set in 2017, was 179.
The briefing happened outside of Rising Star Apartments, located at 3900 Shadeland Avenue on the city’s northeast side. Hogsett’s office says the apartment complex is working with OPHS community violence reduction grant recipient Community Action of Greater Indianapolis, Inc.
“CAGI and its partners aim to intercept individuals in need, continue to provide current programming the community relies on, while offering a new coherent, interconnected, holistic solution to the systemic plague of violence. Those new programs include emotional regulation training, employment placement, cognitive-based therapy, and case management,” Hogsett’s office said in a release.
Mayor Joe Hogsett made it clear this is his community and his responsibility, but it’s also yours. And it’s going to take everyone to fix the problem.
“This year while most metrics of crime continue to decline homicides have skyrocketed. That trend is national,” said Hogsett.
The mayor was blunt about the fact that Indianapolis is facing a struggle right now.
He listed COVID, the racial disparities and years and years of trauma as contributing factors to the violence. And IMPD Police Chief Randal Taylor says no matter the problem violence isn’t the answer.
“I’ll not accept that murder will be the solution to whatever problem you have. Let us help where we can. There are teams that are willing to help,” said Chief Taylor.
The mayor and chief also pointed out each of those deaths in our growing total represents a person and a family.
Juan Mitchell is one of them. He’s also known as Coach Smitty with Next Level Sports Youth League. Someone shot and killed him Friday night on the near north side.
“It’s really heartbreaking that this happened to this man cause you know the community everybody in the community and in Indianapolis loved him. He was about the kids first. He showed the kids integrity and build character,” said President of Next Level Sports Youth League, Ron Haynes.
Something the kids will now miss. And something that the chief hopes doesn’t impact them.
“I think my ultimate concern is when we have this high number of murders that I feel our young people become numb to it. That’s not a good place for them to be that’s not a good place for anyone to be,” said Chief Taylor.
The Chief says the growing number shows there is not enough being done. However, he pointed out it’s hard when many of the crimes start of disagreements and end with murder.