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Unity in the Community: Improving police-community relations

Featuring a downtown block party
Posted at 11:55 PM, Jun 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 23:55:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A downtown Indianapolis block party Saturday had two goals: To support downtown businesses that were damaged during protests two week ago, and the improve police-community relations.

"Unity in the Community" was the name of the event with a theme of "love over hate." Folks gathered between Pennsylvania and Delaware streets to show support for a couple of businesses: D.R. Barber Salon and Michael's Soul Kitchen. Both had been vandalized.

The party also offered a chance to get to know police officers in a peaceful setting.

"With anyone, you have to build a relationship. Behind these uniforms, I know these officers personally. I know their moms, dads, husbands, fathers. Just like I am a husband father and a man. In order to have contact with anyone, you first have to build a a relationship." said Antonio Patton the far east side director for City Life.

"It takes everyone to come together to promote change and for our community to change," said IMPD Sgt. Tamar Harper. "It's not just black or white or blue, this is a community."

Sergeant Harper said what makes her hopeful is that change is possible. Saturday's event offered police officers a chance to get to know people from all walks of life. Harper said important conversations took place.