INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - On the same day prosecutors announced murder charges against an Indianapolis teen involved in last week's deadly crime spree, city leaders went to an east side church for answers.
Most of the major players in city government took over Eastern Star Church Tuesday night. They gathered to get solutions from the community on how to help fight youth violence in Indianapolis.
"This is not an event to rehash past history," said WTLC Radio Host Amos Brown.
Brown moderated the town hall meeting; a forum filled with teens and adults from the east side. Some gave their own ideas on how to help fix the problems. Members of IMPD, Department of Public Safety and the juvenile justice system listened.
"I've asked folks to leave their egos at the door and for us to come together and how do we really impact change in our community," said City-County Council President Maggie Lewis.
The Town Hall meeting comes on the heels of last week's deadly crime spree. Police said it was all caused by two teens: a 15 year-old and 17 year-old. One by one, people lined up and talked about solutions to help curb the violence and give teens better options.
"The solution for our children is very simple: The young children between 18 and 25; they want jobs," said one east side resident.
"Why don't we teach the law in school to children that they know that they are up against," said another resident.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett wasn't on the panel, but he gave sobering statistics about the crime rate in the east side neighborhood.
"A young black man is 85 percent times more likely to be a victim of homicide than the national average," Hogsett said.
Councilor Lewis said enough is enough and something has to be done.
"We need the parents at the table, grandparents at the table, auntie, uncles, everyone, wrapping ourselves around our youth and talk about how we help them," she said.
Lewis said they received some push back for having this forum at a Church, but she said they can't combat the crime without the help of the Faith based community.
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