This story has been updated to include comment from Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Indianapolis Public Schools officials and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis called attention this week to the recent spate of youth homicides.
Thursday night one teen was killed and another severely injured by gunfire. This week, a 13-year-old boy was shot and killed on Indianapolis’ northeast side. Earlier this month, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in the parking lot of the KIPP Indy Legacy High School.
On Friday, the African American Coalition of Indianapolis released a call to action regarding the uptick in youth shootings – noting that it would like to see both the Mayor and Police Chief give more attention to the issue.
The group also plans to create specific policy demands and action items for its members, and the wider community, to take. Demands include youth mental health initiatives and ways to increase the number of African-American mentors, tutors, and coaches.
“No community can thrive if it becomes easier for a young person to obtain a gun rather than a computer or a book,” the release said. “We must all be about the protection and healthy development of our young people. Failing to do so is failing to protect the future.”
The coalition isn’t alone in taking note of the recent uptick in youth homicides.
During a school board meeting Thursday, Indianapolis Public Schools Board Vice President Angelia Moore also took a moment to mourn recent youth homicides.
“When we met Tuesday night, we spoke of the number of students who have been affected by gun violence in our community,” she said. “Little did we know that number would be changed before we met again.”
According to Moore, at least twenty IPS mothers will head into the holidays without their children because of youth homicides.
“Our children need protection. These murders are happening incidentally, intentionally but they are to the point they are overwhelming the work that we do,” she said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Mayor Joe Hogsett pointed to both his violence reduction and vision for Black Indianapolis plans - writing that “we recognize the vital role of community involvement in these efforts to make Indianapolis youth safer.”
“While violence in Indianapolis remains on a downward trend, far too many of our city's young people have been impacted by guns this year,” the spokesperson said.