Ten Point Coalition threatened at murder scene
Ten Point Coalition members hit the city's downtown streets Saturday, patrolling corners with a visible presence in their yellow vests.
"If there are kids having a hard time, we step in and we kind of play the roles of parents and family members," said Rev. Charles Harrison, the head of the grassroots organization.
That wasn't the case downtown Saturday. Ten Point members were hoping for a peaceful night, and that's what they got as they talked with adults and teens at the Circle City Classic.
"Part of my life's work is ministry, taking care of people," said Pastor Melvin Jackson, also a Ten Point member.
Friday, though, members found themselves in a position they'd never been in before: threatened with their lives at one of the city's murder scenes in the 3800 block of Bennett Drive.
"We were literally threatened by a group of young men who were angry. They made it very personal. They talked about spraying the area, told us we needed to leave the area and not be there, when the police left we would be the target," said Rev. Harrison.
"As we were walking to our cars last night, they went around the corner and fired gun shots in the air, and then as I was leaving the area, several of the young men followed me in the car," continued who Harrison, who said after a few blocks, the group following him turned off onto another street.
Despite what happened, Ten Point members were back at it downtown Saturday evening in a crowded, but peaceful environment. They were ready, though, to go to a less peaceful place in the city, should something happen.
"There's a risk. There's risk if you don't do anything," Pastor Jackson said when asked why the group was continuing despite Friday's threats. Sitting idle is a risk they said they weren't willing to take.
“That was pretty scary because that's the first point Ten Point has been attacked on the street like this. It is not going to stop us from going into these neighborhoods and saying what needs to be said to try to stop this madness,” Rev. Harrison said.
Members said they were looking into taking extra precautions on scenes, but didn't elaborate what those measures would be. Some already wear bullet proof vests and are already planning for next weekend.
“We're going to be taking a few council members out with us so they can see firsthand what we do but we have to put some precautions in place for tickling some of the neighborhoods that were going to be going in so that everyone is safe,” Rev. Harrison said.