Why “Code of Silence” keeps many Indianapolis murders unsolved

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 24 2015) -- With arrests finally made in the murder of Amanda Blackburn, community leaders say it’s time to turn our attention to solving some of the city’s other unsolved killings.

More than two months ago, a 10-year-old boy named DeShaun Swanson lost his life during a drive-by shooting on Graceland.

Unfortunately, no arrests have been made in that case.

A month later 10-year-old Malik Perry was shot and killed near 41st and Byram.

Marshawn Frazier was shot to death in late August on 40th and Byram.

Also in late August, Clarence Havvard was murdered just a block away from that scene.

All four died in the Butler Tarkington neighborhood over the summer.

All four cases remain unsolved.

The double shooting of Makala Mitchell and Corianna Johnson in a car on Berkwick in early October has also not seen any arrests.

“Just about every homicide we’re hearing names on the streets of people that may be responsible, but the problem is people with information are not coming forward and giving that info to police,” said Rev. Charles Harrison.

Harrison says those cases have one thing in common- a code of silence that keeps many in the community from talking to police.

“We have a lot of high profile cases in the city that are still unsolved because there is this code of silence in the community where it is a taboo to come forward with information,” said Harrison.

In the Blackburn case, detectives say they got a lot of help from the community.

Other neighborhoods have not always been so forthcoming.

Some say the biggest lesson we’ve learned from the Blackburn arrests is that community involvement is the key to brining killers to justice.

“We need the communities help in all these cases and people know what happened in their neighborhood and we have unsolved homicides in this city and people know who’s involved,” said IMPD deputy chief Bill Lorah.

“Ithink it’s unfortunate there is a perception that we in public safety care about one case over another, which is simply not the truth,” said Marion county prosecutor Terry Curry.

Anyone with information on any unsolved murder is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.

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