Attorney General Jeff Sessions praises the work of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition

INDIANAPOLIS -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions met Monday with members of the Ten Point Coalition in Indianapolis and echoed Vice President Mike Pence's praise about the group's work to "save lives and work miracles every day."

Sessions accepted an invitation to meet with Rev. Charles Harrison, head of the Ten Point Coalition, and other community leaders at Barnes United Methodist Church.

The organization uses a strategy of patrolling neighborhoods hit hard by violent crime. Sessions says he thinks its a strategy that could be copied nationwide.

 "Our goal is to make every community safer-and especially the most vulnerable.  We will not leave anyone behind.  And let's face it: it's not our privileged communities that suffer when crime is on the rise.  It's those that were already struggling," said Sessions.

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The attorney general talked about Ten Point's success in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood with two years straight and zero homicides.  He also noted an 85 percent reduction in homicides in the three neighborhoods Ten Point patrols: Butler-Tarkington, Crown Hill and United Northwest.

"Proactive, community-based policing is what's required. Proactive - before the crime occurs. Community-based policing, where we focus on the individuals that many of you know to be the most dangerous," said Sessions.

WATCH COMPLETE REMARKS FROM SESSIONS BELOW

 

 

 

Sessions also recognized the group for receiving the FBI's Community Leadership Award last spring. He said that President Trump recognizes the importance of the work of the Ten Point Coalition.

After the meeting, Sessions walked part of a neighborhood near 30th and Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. with Rev. Harrison and members of the Ten Point Coalition to learn more about the organization's faith patrols.

Rev. Harrison says he will be going to Washington in the next few weeks to continue crime fighting discussions with members of the Justice Department.

MORE | Does the Ten Point Coalition model work?

Neighbors in the Crown Hill area, a neighborhood Ten Point Coalition patrols said it's going to take the help of the entire community to combat crime in the city.

"It was a nice quiet neighborhood. I knew most of the people around here, and they knew me," said Bill Smith. "I've seen changes in the neighborhood when it comes to daily activities. It's not-every time I turn around someone's killing somebody. It ain't really that bad."

Several ministers said they feel the attorney general's meeting with the Ten Point Coalition is an insult to many leaders of the black community. 

At a news conference Monday morning, the group claimed that Sessions' track record when it comes to civil rights is dismal at best.

"I believe in teamwork. He is not on our team. I'm not one to play with a fella who is not on a team with me," said Rev. James Williams, retired minister.

The group called out the Ten Point Coalition saying the meeting was an opportunity to solicit federal dollars to support a program that doesn't have the data to prove that it's cutting crime.

Rev. Harrison said the meeting with Sessions was needed to try to help end the plague of black on black crime across America.
 

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