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1,000 days without youth criminal homicide in Butler-Tarkington neighborhood

INDIANAPOLIS- It’s been 1,000 days since the last youth criminal homicide in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. Community leaders are applauding the collaboration between several groups for deterring violence in their streets.

Sirens rang through the streets in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood back in 2015. In the late summer and early fall, IMPD investigated four homicides. One of them involved a 10-year-old boy named Deshaun Swanson.

“It really created a lot of tension, just terror in the neighborhood,” said Ted Feeney, an Indianapolis resident.

It was a wake-up call for some like Feeney. He lived in this area for nine years and served as President of the Neighborhood Association. He worked with law enforcement, religious leaders, and groups like Indy Ten Point Coalition. Together, they walked through the neighborhood to talk to folks in hopes of deterring the violence.

“There’s reasons why these people get to these points and we try to find out these reasons, direct reason why you are out here and how we can help you change your direction,” said Wallace Nash, a resident in Butler-Tarkington.

Nash leads Indy Ten Point Coalition in this area. On Sunday afternoon, Tarkington park echoed with childrens’ laughter. Nash said that was not the case in 2015. A recent makeover there including a splash park and new basketball courts is driving more families to the area.

“I hope we can go another thousand days. I hope there will never be another homicide over here,” said Nash.

Some families attribute the positive changes to redevelopment in the area. New businesses are moving in. An owner of a new brewery across from the park said he invested in the neighborhood after seeing the city doing the same.

“Getting rid of the old buildings, starting up new, new apartments new condominiums so that has helped the area come up as well,” said Yasmin York, resident in Butler-Tarkington.