INDIANAPOLIS — Marching side-by-side, community members united Saturday on the east side, each one hoping for an end to the violence and an end to young lives being taken from their loved ones too soon.
"There was a 14-year-old boy that was shot (Friday night)," La Keisha Jackson said. "We are losing lives, we are losing our babies, our children's lives and our youth lives. These are supposed to be our future."
The peace walk started at 42nd and Post Road. Jackson, a City-County Councilor, sponsored the walk and took time to discuss what she thinks is leading to violence in Indianapolis.
"We have reasons why people are picking up guns," Jackson said. "Conflict resolution that can't be resolved and they feel it can't be resolved. We are battling on social media, and that escalates to another situation."
Jackson said it's going to take a collective effort from not only the government but from everyone, including schools and parents working together.
"It's a health crisis. It's an epidemic, folks," Jackson said. "The numbers as of Thursday was 117. I'm just talking about the murders."
Parents, including Trey Thompson, a father of three kids under the age of 13, marched with Jackson.
"It's very important to teach them so young to let them know not only is there hope and everything, they can also make a change, also," Thompson said.
Portia Thomas, a mom who is raising kids on the far east side, wants to see that change happen to make it safer for her family.
"I have two boys and they need better," Thomas said. "Post Road is going down. They're doing dumb stuff, robbing people. You can't even go outside at a certain time and be safe."
The question often comes up: How do peace walks make a difference? Those walking Saturday said it's a way to send a message that they care, and they want our city to be a better place for families.
"Point is to let the community know that we are concerned about making change. We are here," Donnie Abernathy said.
They said each step is a step closer to their goal: a safer community to live in.
"It takes a village to raise a community," Vincent Bibbs said. "If we don't come out and speak up and cry out, no one else will do it. We have to be the one who stands up and takes our community back."