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Far east side residents at odds over homicide numbers

Posted at 7:50 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 19:56:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — This week the Attorney General's Office praised the efforts of police and the Indy TenPoint Coalition as city leaders stood next to a sign reading "no homicides on the far east side."

That caught the attention of east siders who called that data 'a lie.'

"We want clarity, and we want an apology. These families have been disrespected," Shelley Covington, a community activist, said. "I just read off 20 names of individuals that were victims of homicide in the official far east side area."

Covington was one of the more than a dozen people who lay on the ground in front of the City-County building in representation if the murder victims they say the city and TenPoint Coalition are ignoring.

"It's a disservice to our community. It's a disservice to the families who have lost a victim on the far east side," Dee Ross, activist and founder of the Dee Ross Foundation, said. "It's a disservice to my family. We have lost a family member."

"If TenPoint wants to make a difference on the far east side, make a difference in the whole area, because they are picking cherries, and we don't have time to pick cherries when lives are at stake," Covington said.

At the center of the controversy is what really consists of the far east side. When it comes to TenPoint, they say it's a small area with a boundary that could end when you cross the street.

"That area was 38th street to 42nd street, between Post Road and Mitthoeffer Road. That has been the boundary of The Ten Point patrol since mid-January of 2018," Rev. Charles Harrison, founder of the Ten Point Coalition, said.

Harrison says he thought that boundary was made clear but reiterates his team focuses on saving the lives of boys 12- to 24-years-old — a goal he says he reached.

"That's what we tried to highlight in the press conference, and I tried to be very clear about what the catch area was when we said that," Rev. Harrison said.

"That is a portion, a section of the far east side," Covington said. "It is not the far east side in its totality. It never has been and it never will be."

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