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Marching for 'Peace in the Streets' of Indy

Posted at 12:20 AM, Jul 17, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis' homicide rate is already on track to outpace last year and that is something many of the city's grassroots community leaders are not OK with.

On Thursday, organizers, clergy, police and the mayor marched through the streets in Haughville asking for peace.

"We are specifically here in Haughville because we have seen an unfortunate uptick in crime that has happened here but more than anything this is my home, this is my stomping ground, this is where I'm from, so I need to make sure that home is taken care of first," Aaron Williams said.

Williams is the director of Peace in the Streets. Throughout this week, he's been asking for exactly that in addition to a meeting with Indy's mayor and police chief to talk about creating neighborhood violence-free zones in hot spot crime areas. Haughville is one of them. On Thursday, with bullhorn in hand, Williams asked the community to join the fight.

"The police can't do it alone, the community can't do it alone, the business community can't do it alone, the clergy can't do it alone," Williams said. "We want peace in our streets. We want the violence to end. We don't want you to use violence to settle a dispute and we want to eliminate the homicide and murders that are happening in our city at an unprecedented rate."

As usual, the Rev. Charles Harrison is vocal about Indy's rising crime rate, especially in east side neighborhoods patrolled by the Ten Point Coalition. On Thursday, he was out of his usual patrol area to echo the message of peace in multiple parts of the city.

"It's a city-wide problem and that's why we all need to come together and help," Harrison said. "There is no one silver bullet to this. There is no one program, one initiative that can curb the violence alone."

The call for peace is so loud and the call for action is so urgent it brought out Indianapolis mayors past and present.

"I think it's evidence that this is a critical time for our city in its history and we need to come together and encourage everyone to participate," Mayor Joe Hogsett said. "Not just the mayor, not just IMPD, but the community as a whole and I'm glad to see so many community leaders here."

The public safety peace marches will continue for the next several weeks with the next two happening at East 34th Street and Keystone next Friday and then at 29th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Street the following Friday.