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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Some recent crime along the canal downtown is causing some apprehension about visiting this popular spot in the city. This includes an alleged self-defense fatal shooting after police reported a 14-year-old boy tried to rob someone.

Some of the city’s peacemakers decided to spend time on the canal late Thursday night to talk with teens, about safety and the upcoming Safe Summer Initiative. They are working alongside other advocates in the community.

“The few of us can do nothing, but if we get a group of people then maybe it will strike a blow with some of the issues that we’re having downtown,” Jeff Cottrell, Neighborhood Resource Coordinator and Peacemaker, said.

Cottrell and Casby Williams are two adult mentors who visited the canal on Thursday night into Friday morning.

“It was a nice size crowd of young people,” Cottrell explained. “But I have to admit they were behaving. We all know young people are going to be loud and they’re going to be all over the place, but there was nothing that would be considered violent or anything of that nature that would cause any alarm.”

Adults who care about our youth urge parents, guardians and family members to check in with the children in your life daily to make sure they are safe.

“They’re young and they’re still moldable,” Williams said. “Sometimes we have to get in their business so to speak. Let them know, ‘Hey I’m doing this because I love you. I care for you and I want you alive.’”

We want to make it abundantly clear; we know the majority of teens are striving to make positive choices. For the teens who are currently walking down a different path, we join with Williams, Cottrell and other teens and adults who want to empower our youth.

The teens we spoke with for this story agree on the importance of a trustworthy adult and choosing to speak up if someone is about to make a bad choice.

“Most violent teens be the ones without parents or be the ones without guidance,” Ronnelle Collins said.

“If any young person is listening to what I’m saying right now, you should love your life and not just drown it with violence,” Davion Shaw added.