Peace rally calls for end to violence in Indianapolis - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Peace rally calls for end to violence in Indianapolis

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Penika Edwards' son, Monquize, was shot and killed downtown on July 4. Penika Edwards' son, Monquize, was shot and killed downtown on July 4.
Demetrius Bynum and other anti-violence activists spoke at Monday's rally. Demetrius Bynum and other anti-violence activists spoke at Monday's rally.
INDIANAPOLIS -

The recent wave of violence in Indianapolis had demonstrators calling for action at a peace rally downtown Monday evening.

The last weekend of Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration has been marked with violence in the past and with recent tensions in the city, organizers are on high alert for trouble this weekend.

Penika Edwards is on a first-name basis with the violence.

"It is not the same without my son. I miss my son," Edward said.

Her son, 16-year-old Monquize Edwards, was gunned down on July 4 on a downtown street corner.

"Stop the killing. That is all I can say is, put the guns down and stop the killing," she said.

With an alarming spike in violence this summer, Edwards' message may not be getting to the people that need to hear it the most. Police and Indiana Black Expo organizers are hoping tension among gangs does not boil over during Summer Celebration this weekend.

"We have to stop hating people from the next street over. We have to take care of us," said Demetrius Bynum, an anti-violence activist.

Bynum is not in a gang and never has been. His mission Monday was that of a self-described activist against violence that he says will not end anytime soon.

"Something's got to stop. There is a different way, there is a better way, period," he said.

"Together as a community, we all need to come together and stop this. The guns need to get off the streets and especially out of the hands of the children," Edwards said.

There are national demonstrations planned at Federal courthouses across the nation on Saturday to protest the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Police hope the protests do not increase tensions even more in Indianapolis.

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