INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — October is turning out to be one of the most violent months of the year in Indianapolis.
The city had two shootings Wednesday morning. In one of those, police tell I-Team 8, a driver was shot while driving through a neighborhood, and the victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
A group of activists says they and the city have had enough of the violence and are calling for a 72-hour cease-fire.
Robert Booker lives on the far-east side of Indianapolis. He is planning a neighborhood cleanup around North Post Road and East 42nd Street. Booker has seven trucks lined up to haul away the trash. He is also planning to feed anyone that shows up to help or just listen.
“We are going to have free food for the community. We will have some guest speakers,” Booker said.
Booker is part of the community activist organization called Unity Indy City. The group is asking trigger pullers and people intent on doing violence to put down their guns and come help their neighbors.
“Della B” is one of the founding organizers of this weekend’s cease-fire. “It is kind of hard to tell people to put their guns down, right? We have been going around to the communities and asking them, ‘Hey, put your guns down.’
“‘OK, if we put our guns down, what are we going to pick up?’ Instead, we let that out and said, ‘come to these events’,” “Della B” said.
One of the events is a cookout and neighborhood party planned in the Barrington area. Another event is the neighborhood cleanup planned by Anthony Meriweather for an area near East 13th Street and North Sherman Drive.
Meriweather said, “Hey, we came together to stop the violence, stop all of this murder and senseless shootings that are going on in our community.”
October has seen at least 32 homicides. The city saw 33 in July.
This group that goes by the name of Unity City Indy does not receive a crime-prevention grant from the city government. Unity City Indy operates on donations. Antonio Lipscomb, a pastor who is one of the organizers of Unity City Indy, says the cease-fire is just a stepping stone to a much larger problem.
Lipscomb said, “The bigger message is cease-fire is something that’s already stated, and the person knows they need to do it, but let’s give them reasoning or opportunity so they will not pull the trigger.”
A spokesperson for the city government says it understands the solutions to the local violence are not a one-prong approach but requires everyone to do their part.