INDIANAPOLIS - In the wake of violence that left six people dead in the past week, a prominent Indianapolis anti-crime advocate is calling for the use of stop-and-frisk to get illegal guns off the streets.
The practice of police officers randomly stopping and searching people on the streets has been widely criticized in other cities over racial profiling. But Rev. Charles Harrison, a black leader of the Ten Point Coalition in Indianapolis, says it’s the only option on the table right now that will get guns out of the hands of young people.
"Unless we find another solution that’s going to address the issue of guns, I’m going to continue to push that," he said. "And I’m open to any other strategy that’s going to get the guns off the street."
Harrison spoke after attending a meeting between community leaders and Indianapolis police commanders. The meeting was called after a very violent week in Indianapolis. Six people were killed during a dozen shootings over the past week.
IMPD Chief Rick Hite says his force hasn’t used stop-and-frisk before because they’re using data to lead them to suspects. But he acknowledges the swell of teenagers possessing and using guns.
Harrison was just one of a few dozen pastors and youth group leaders that spoke with IMPD command.
Topics of the meeting included a night club task force and curfews. They also discussed way to make sure people can get out of a life of crime and violence. Hite says there’s no program like ones to help people quit drugs or alcohol.
"Well, what about a person who is thinking about using a handgun? Who is involved in a situation, they feel there’s no way out, but to use a weapon or violence to settle a dispute," he said. "We talked about how we can create a Get Out of the Game model that makes sense to be able to do that."