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U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative targets the most violent offenders while collaborating with community members, business leaders and faith-based groups
Indianapolis-United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today a meeting he held in his office with members of the Indianapolis community to help reduce gun violence. The meeting was held to discuss Project Safe Neighborhoods on ICE, an initiative linking the federal prosecutor’s office with members of (I) Individual Community Members, (C) Council of Private Sector Partners and (E) Evangelical and faith-based members.
“Law enforcement alone cannot stem the violent crime trend alone, it takes us all,” said Minkler. “If we broaden our base of those vested in the problem by force-multiplying our strengths, we can make a difference.”
The Department of Justice has identified Indianapolis as a city with 2.5 times the national average for violent crime. To date Indianapolis has experienced 91 criminal homicides and approximately 275 non-fatal shootings; an unacceptable statistic for a vibrant city like Indianapolis. To help reduce the violent trend, Minkler has assigned an Assistant United States Attorney to each of the IMPD Districts to focus federal resources on the most violent criminals using guns to terrorize our neighborhoods. Working with IMPD’s District Commanders, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of criminal homicides and non-fatal shootings. To date approximately 150 federal defendants face criminal charges which carry more significant penalties and helps to insure safer neighborhoods.
Today’s meeting introduced members of varying groups from Indianapolis to brainstorm other ideas for violence reduction. The group’s task was to identify the Big Picture Goal, Identify the Problem, Solutions to the Problem and what Action Steps are needed.
The meeting also included Ms. DeAndra Yates-Dycus whose son DeAndre Knox was shot in 2014, while attending a friend’s birthday party. DeAndre was shot in the head and survived but is not able to speak or walk and is confined to a wheel chair. In addition, Ms. Cheree Sampson spoke to the group. Her 14-year-old son Daron Johnson was shot and killed in June of this year while attending a birthday party in Lawrence. Both were very powerful speakers that brought home the point that their lives are forever changed.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the Office’s firm commitment to prosecuting those who engage in violent crime using firearms. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 2.3