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'I'm Terrified': Mothers address teen violence seen in Indianapolis

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Posted at 11:27 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 14:50:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Mothers are scared and looking for answers as gun violence continues to set records in Indianapolis.

“It just doesn't make any sense,” explained Leisha Poston as she dropped off her son at a weekly New B.O.Y Leaders circle meeting.

New B.O.Y is a program that works to provide teaching and empowerment to young men in the Indianapolis community. They also work to address youth violence in the Indianapolis community.

Wednesday’s event saw over 50 teen and pre-teen boys partake in an unfiltered conversation about youth violence in Indianapolis.

A recent Indianapolis Youth Firearm Injury Report prepared by Dr. Lauren Magee at the IUPUI O’Neill School of Public and Environmental affairs claims that youth homicide rates have tripled from 2016 to 2023.

2023 saw a record number of youth homicides in Indianapolis.

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Police respond to mass shooting injuring seven teens and pre-teens in March

“Children are supposed to be our future but our future, as you know, is dying, younger and younger,” expressed Poston.

Poston brings her 13-year old son here every week to be surrounded by positive role models.

“I try to do as much as I can to keep him active and engaged in as many positive things that I can,” explained Poston.

“I recognize so many youth out here trying to find themselves I'm trying to fit in. Oftentimes they do. It's easy to to navigate down the path of what seems right.”

Kelley Anderson is a single mother of five. She hopes the city realizes that parents need more resources to help ensure the safety of their children.

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Teen boys reading along with New B.O.Y. programming

“I feel like a lot of kids get in trouble because they don't have anything to do,” shared Anderson. “Us being single parents, we might not have the finances for certain programs or certain things. We’re not able to put them in certain things because of finances. So, when they're just out in the street, they're listening to people that they shouldn't listen to.”

Both Anderson and Poston are concerned that if changes aren’t made, their children’s lives will be in jeopardy.

“It is very hard as a parent, especially to young boys, that whenever they leave out the house, you don't know if they're gonna make it back,” expressed Anderson.

“Young people don't see the hope,” shared Poston. “All I can do is just pray.”