City, federal leaders reach out to communities to stop gun violence

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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s a problem plaguing our city. Gun violence is on the rise in Indianapolis and city leaders are stepping up to find a solution to keep everyone protected.

City, federal leaders spoke to the community at the Gun Violence on the Eastside event at the Forest Manor Multi-Service Center Thursday. It’s on the eve of IMPD Police Chief Rick Hite plans to unveil his summer violence plan.

“We live in two different cities,” said Joe Hogsett, U.S. Attorney. “There is a city that is prosperous. A city that is successful. A city that hosts the Super Bowl. A city that is safe. Then, there’s another city that we don’t talk about.”

Dozens gathered to listen and learn from the wounded to victims who have already lost too much from gun violence.

“I thought I was immune to this whole situation. I did everything right,” said Sabrina Stennette, who lost her son  less than a year ago. “This shouldn’t have happened to my child.”

Federal, city and community leaders spoke to neighbors on the east side hoping to discuss solutions to keep city streets safe starting with the youth.

“They’re frustrated to a point where they don’t care even about themselves,’ said Anthony Beverly from Stop the Violence. “So what do they care about the next person?”

IMPD police officers are on the offensive this summer. They’re making legitimate traffic stops and arresting wanted people for gun.

“We’re in the right places and we’ve identified the right people,” said Chief Rick Hite. “We’re getting some of the right results.”

While criminal homicides are still on the rise at 54 percent since last year, violence overall has gone down by 4 percent. Property thefts have also decreased by 12 percent.

Many know their work is far from done.

“We are burying too many teenagers,” said Dr. Stephen Clay of Messiah Baptist Church. “We are having to counsel too many mothers and grandmothers who are losing their children to violence in our community.”