INDIANAPOLIS — People are being killed in broad daylight across the city, and the gunfire is killing or injuring our kids. You will likely remember March 13 when four people, including a 7-year-old girl, were killed inside a home on Randolph Street.
On Wednesday, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Chief Randal Taylor and IMPD officers went back to the neighborhood on the near east side for their monthly public safety walk. Before speaking with neighbors, he spoke to reporters about the surging crime in Indy.
“Our collective message to the people of the City of Indianapolis is, you have an obligation to resolve conflicts in peaceful ways,” Hogsett said. “You have an obligation to de-escalate disagreements in peaceful and safe ways.”
Hogsett said he expects IMPD to de-escalate situations and demands the same from the public. Chief Taylor is frustrated over the ways the violence is severely impacting our children.
Last week, 12-year-old Day’Shawn Bills was killed inside his grandma’s home as he played video games and a drive-by shooting happened outside. Today, a 14-year-old and a 5-year-old, both hurt in a shooting outside their home.
“Somehow, someway, people have got to understand that makes no sense to fire weapons into a house,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t make any sense firing weapons at anyone else either.”
The Willard Park Neighborhood is still working to recover after the quadruple murder on Randolph Street.
“Some of the family members I know really well,” Joey Newsome, neighborhood board president, said. “That’s not the only story here. There’s a lot of good things happening in our community and with that family.”
Newsome said his community deeply understands the importance of unity.
“Some of this has really helped us all realize how connected we are,” Newsome said. “How much we are affected by one another.”
Newsome does not blame police for the public safety crisis we face.
“We ask, ‘oh, why is this happening?’ but then like you pull the rug, and you realize we’ve just let these guys with mental health issues just do whatever and not get the services and support that they need,” Newsome said.
Shawn Brown, founder of the Enough is Enough organization, is a family member of those killed on Randolph Street. Along with IMPD, he has organized a peace ride and rally taking place on June 19 from noon to 3pm.
It begins in the old Kroger lot on the corner of 38th Street and Post Road. Brown said the goal is to unite our city.