Pastor: "Black on black" violence must stop
Horns honked, sounding off as if to agree with the display at 38th and Emerson.
“It was meant to be profound and to be shocking at the same time,” said Pastor Anthony Pippens.
The display is a mannequin in an open casket with the rhetorical question: "Who's next?".
“I think it's very important to have this discussion and even though I'm black, I know there are going to be a lot of people who disagree with me even,” said Pippens, pastor of Greater New Hope Church on the west side.
“Black on black violence needs to stop," he said.
“I really wish more than talk about it, I wish we would do something about it,” said Pippens.
Of the 92 homicides this year in Indianapolis, 64 of the victims are black. 26 suspects are black, 3 white and 35 unknown.
“I didn't want to die in prison and I definitely didn't want to die on the streets,” said Cedric Myles.
The 39-year-old will be the first to tell you he was part of the problem.
“I was the same individual who helped tear down my community, not knowing that's what I was doing. I thought it was a means to an end,” said Myles.
He sold drugs on the streets of Haughville on the near west side. His best friend and another man were killed in a violent gun battle outside Cowboys nightclub in 1996. Dealing drugs was an occupation that landed him in federal prison for 13 years. Now, he wants to convince anyone who will listen: crime and violence doesn't pay.
“I prayed about it. I guess it's my time to give my testimony. It's only by the grace of God that I'm able to even be sitting here to have this conversation with you,” Myles said.
He survived, but worries about asking who will be next. And he agrees it's time for an uncomfortable conversation.
“I would rather say something and be disagreed with and help somebody than to be quiet and not do anything,” said Pippens.
Pastor Pippens says he will hold more demonstrations with that open casket in the coming weeks to get his message across.
Cedric Myles has been out of prison almost 2 years. He's a private contractor and has several other jobs. He's looking for opportunities to mentor young black men and encourage them not to make the same mistakes he made.
Statistics from IMPD:
For 2015 (as of 8/25), here is a breakdown by race of murders:
The racial relationship between victims and their suspects was:
Black victim – Black assailant = 26
Black victim – White assailant = 3
Black victim – Hispanic assailant = 0
Black victim – Unknown assailant = 35
White victim – White assailant = 13
White victim – Black assailant = 8
White victim – Hispanic assailant = 0
White victim – Unknown assailant = 4
Hispanic victim – Hispanic assailant = 1
Hispanic victim – Black assailant = 1
Hispanic victim – White assailant = 0
Hispanic victim – Unknown assailant = 1
Asian victim – Asian assailant = 0
Asian victim – Black assailant = 0
Unknown victim – Unknown assailant = 0