Clergy Try To Broker Gang Truce Before Summer Celebration
Truce Intended To Ensure Peace During Upcoming Cultural Event
Last Updated: 713 days ago
Clergy members from across Indianapolis sat down with the leaders of some of the city's street gangs in an effort to broker a truce ahead of the upcoming Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.Rev. Charles Harrison, president of the faith-based Ten Point Coalition, said that the violence that is associated with the annual cultural event needs to stop, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported."We have a lot of teenage, underage groups roaming the streets of this city that we need to pay attention to," Harrison said.Harrison and other clergy members met with the gang leaders Wednesday to try to convince them to sign a truce in order to avoid violence that has erupted during the event in the past two years.In 2010, 10 people were shot and wounded when the member of a street gang opened fire on a crowded street, police said.Following that shooting, the city put together a task force that developed an action plan to safeguard visitors, Indianapolis police Deputy Chief Mike Bates said."This coming weekend, the weekend after next, with Expo, with all the folks from out of town, we're going to pay closer attention to downtown as far as the mall and the canal will be a main concern," Bates said.IBE has engaged in a six-week public messaging campaign and has tripled the number of civilian volunteers. The organization remains neutral on the topic of a gang summit."There has not been anything that has been addressed in an action plan that the task force has put together with respect to this summer," IBE CEO Tanya Bell said.Indianapolis has seen a recent wave of younger and more violent street gangs engaged in robbery and murder, police said. The message from the Ten Point Coalition remains one of peace or consequences."There's a lot of pressure bearing on kids from across the community. They cannot mess up one of the premiere black events in the country," Harrison said. "We're just not going to allow these kids to do that."