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Ten Point leader asking for help from retired IMPD detectives

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Ten Point Coalition leader Reverend Charles Harrison didn’t hold back during a one-on-one conversation Thursday afternoon.

“We should have moved heaven and earth to find the killers of DeShaun,” said Harrison.

It’s been six months since DeShaun Swanson, a 10-year-old died after being shot during a prayer vigil. It happened in the 3900 block of Graceland Avenue on Sept. 19, 2015.

There have been no leads in the quadruple murder of Tiara Turner, 32, Sherry Taylor, 48, Terry Betties, 41, and Davon Whitlock, 18 on the 3100 block of North Harding Street.

All four died from multiple gunshot wounds. In the aftermath, detectives talked to family members, neighbors and even those that had some level of contact with the victims.

Nor have there been any arrests in the double murder of 17-year-old Coriana Johnson and 18-year-old Makayla Mitchell. The teenage girls were shot and killed in a car on the city’s west side.

In 2015, murders involving white victims were solved 87 percent of the time, as opposed to 50 percent when the victim is black. In the same calendar year, IMPD responded to 105 homicides involving black victims, and there were 31 cases reported in which the victim was white.

“People out here feel like they are not being listened to and that their voices are not being heard. People feel like black lives really don’t matter,” said Harrison.

Harrison is asking IMPD to call in retired homicide detectives to look over some of the unsolved murder cases in the city. 24-Hour News 8 asked the department about the possibility of calling in retired detectives. We learned the department already uses retired investigators to help in open investigations.

Currently there are little more than 50 unsolved murder cases from 2015. The unsolved cases remain open until there is an arrest and conviction. In 2016, IMPD made six arrests in unsolved cases dating back to 2015 and 2014.

Just before the interview ended, Harrison challenged the media to devote the same amount of coverage to each homicide in the city regardless of the race and class.

“The media plays a large role in the coverage of these homicides. It shows racial bias. They really don’t get into the depth of the person that was killed and impact on the families.”

Finally, Harrison called on the residents in the community to speak up when they learn details about criminal activity.

The rally on Sunday, called the “We will never forget rally,” it will take place at 3 p.m. at North United Methodist Church. The church is located at 3808 North Meridian Street.

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