100 days since last homicide in Butler-Tarkington neighborhood

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (Jan. 21, 2016) -- After a violent summer in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, some progress is being made. It’s been 100 days since the last homicide.

Residents, community leaders and IMPD staff marched through the neighborhood to recognize the milestone.

"This is the only way we are going to send a message to the community at large," said former IMPD chief Rick Hite.

The decrease in violence has taken a lot of work and time.  IMPD stepped up patrols and their visibility in the neighborhood.  Homicides have been silenced for over three months and drug activity is down 67 percent.

Last summer Butler-Tarkington dealt with a spike in fatal shootings. Ten-year-old Deshaun Swanson was one of those victims.  He was caught in a drive-by shooting.  Throughout the neighborhood there are snow-covered street memorials that serve as somber reminders of all of the lives senselessly lost.

"He lost his life out here for no reason," said Earnestine Havvard.

Havvard’s son Clarence "Wade" Havvard, was shot and killed in August.  His  killer still walking free.

"Will we ever get any closure? I don't know the answer, but I'm not giving up," said Havvard.

"I think we lost so much in such a short period of time that nobody wants to live like that again," said Damon Lee, a community leader who started an urban initiative following Havvard's death.

Lee is partly responsible for the reduction in crime, but he’s not satisfied with 100 days.

"One hundred days really isn’t a lot of time.  Our goal is to have no homicides over here in this neighborhood," said Lee.

If you can help police solve some of the murders in the neighborhood, you are asked to call 911 or 262-TIPS.

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