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Indianapolis leaders cry out as shooting ties homicide record set in 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The community is crying out after Indianapolis early Friday matched its deadliest year.

Overnight gun violence on the northwest side marked the 245th homicide for 2021.

On Friday, members of the community got together to mourn the lives lost and plead for a end to the senseless killing.

Clyde Posley Jr., the senior pastor of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis, said, “We don’t want to have to do your daughter’s funeral. We don’t want to have to go to the prison to visit your child. We don’t want to have to supply the void left by the absence of fathers and mothers who are leaving young children in the street and murder ring gang.”

He added, “It’s a trend in our country, but it hits us at home worse.”

Aleanya Moore, founder of Ladies Under Construction Mentoring Program, said the number “245 is not where we want to be.

“It could be worse. It could be better, but the reality is we’ve got to go to work”

Community activist Jerome Ancelet said, “The blame’s got to stop, so we as a community have to say ‘What can we do?’ It’s what can we individually do in our community to make the community because obviously whatever is going on isn’t working because we’re looking at 246 pretty soon.”

Julius Stephens, a pastor who is a board member of Stop the Violence Indianapolis, said, “We’re not hopeless and we’re not helpless and we’re not powerless and we can’t take that attitude when we look at this and we can’t get numb to it. We have to see that we always have to have hope that we can do something different.”

Ron Gee, the founder of Ceasefire Indy, said, “This is not a white thing, this is not a Black thing, this is a human being thing. There’s no such thing as strangers. We’re all family. We need to get out in our community and restore hope.”

For Posley, that means working with families affected by this violence. “I want to challenge pastors to be more firm and honest and more truthful about the real condition that they see from the grandmothers that they pastor,” he said.

Others urged parents to help put an end to these tragedies.

Moore said, “What are we teaching our babies? What are you modeling? What type of man or woman are you? And how can we make sure that we break this generational curses that are there and create the generational blessings that can happen?”

Antonio Patton, founder of Men of Vision Empowering, said he’s “sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sick, tired of saying I’m sick and tired so just no words, really.”

Patton is also heartbroken for the families that lost their loved ones in the shootings. He and several other people are pushing for change through the 54 Day Challenge, an Indianapolis effort that focuses on inspiring unity through acts of kindness. “If we can come together and form a collaborative front and come together and unify, when you can come together and see us all working together and you really don’t know which organization is putting it together, then we’re being effective.”

These community members say they hope these messages will get across and help make a positive impact. The 54 Day Challenge started Thursday and will go on until Jan. 17.

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