Crime Watch 8

Rev. Charles Harrison: Crime is out of control; children are dying

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The list of names of children shot in Indianapolis is growing, and Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition’s leader, the Rev. Charles Harrison, said he’s finding it hard to be positive.

“It is so bad. It is so out of control that you don’t feel safe anymore,” said the leader of the crime-fighting coalition.

Harrison said Thursday he’s worried because shootings where kids are not the intended targets can sometimes be tougher to solve, especially when people in the community know something and won’t speak up.

“I speak as a father now who has teenage children, and we are fearful, many of us parents are fearful. Our children don’t seem to be safe in the public. They don’t seem to be safe in our home, and I think like a lot of parents we are living with this fear now. Will we get the phone call about our child? Or will we be in our home enjoying ourselves and a bullet comes through the window and strikes one of our children?”

That situation is what police say happened to 8-year-old Rodgerick Payne Jr. in April 2020 on North Tacoma Avenue. Harrison said speaking with the family affected in Thursday’s shooting of a 12-year-old boy on North Leland Avenue reminded him of Rodgerick’s case.

“We may never really know who was responsible when it comes to Rodgerick Payne Jr., and I think that’s what’s frustrating. It frustrates me. I know I am a pastor and I live by this moral code, but I would hope everybody would and that this would bother people who really know the truth about what happened but are yet holding the truth and not coming forward.”

Harrison said, in his mind, violence in Indianapolis has reached its lowest point as our city’s children are being killed.

“Her son is never gonna come back but at least give her some peace of mind and a sense that there was some justice for her son being killed, and I would hope that someone would be moved enough to come forward and do that for Rodgerick’s mother.”

Rodgerick’s murder remains under investigation; IMPD has released no suspect information.


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