Community concerned about violence and rising murder rate - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Community concerned about violence and rising murder rate

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INDIANAPOLIS -

The wave of violence in Indianapolis brought out parents demanding action tonight.

In a city concerned about violence, the conversation Wednesday night focused on a yet unsolved murder from last week on the city's east side and what can be done to stave off a murder rate that's already surpassed last year's.

"A young man was shot 17 times. This is not Vietnam," said a man, his voice charged with emotion at a community forum at God's Grace Community Church.

Police still haven't named any suspects in the murder of 43-year-old Carlos Jefferson last week on the east side.

"We have some general ideas of what we were looking for, but the investigators are holding onto that right now," said Deputy Chief Brian Mahone.

Violence has been the topic of several community forums lately, along with changing the city's curfew laws for the youth.

"It takes a village. Don't complain about the kids out there. Help 'em," said mom Sherlynn Johnson.

Johnson has a son in prison and another who did time for car theft.

"I turned my own son in," she said, adding that she hasn't always done it right. "I was not the perfect parent all the time."

Johnson said she's trying harder now with her 11-year-old daughter.

"I tell them all the time. I am not your friend. I am your mother," she said.

That's what Johnson said other parents need to start doing when it comes to rules, like curfews.

"You don't question where your 13- or 14-year-old daughter's out and its 11 o'clock at night, c'mon now," said Johnson. "We let our kids do things and we don't question them anymore."

That has got to change said the adults gathered. Where to start, though, became the question.

IMPD Chief Rick Hite has said it starts with holding parents accountable if their children are caught somewhere they shouldn't be, doing something they shouldn't do.

Hite has been reaching out to parents, saying publicly the police need their help and cooperation with whatever is decided for the city's curfew law.

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