FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Several families of homicide victims gathered Saturday to share frustrations about the city’s crime problem.
The meeting happened in the same week Mayor Tom Henry and other community leaders released a video bringing attention to the homicide problem. On Saturday, the families looked for results. Some blamed the system while others worked to unite against the killers.
“We need to send them a message: We have power in numbers,” Gary Hamilton from the Fort Wayne Police Department said.
Hamilton was one of a handful of community leaders who sat and listened to the frustrations of homicide victim families. Each parent or relative shared ideas on how to slow the killings and find justice. Quite a bit of blame was put on Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards, who was among the crowd.
“The problem in this community is it’s become more acceptable to let a murderer walk then it is to be labeled a snitch,” Richards told NewsChannel 15.
Leroy Allison knows that issue first hand. His daughter killed in gang crossfire at a party.
“If we don’t get the community to talk about what’s going on, things like this are going to continue.” Allison explained.
He told the group that 150 people were at that party and offered love and support after the shooting, but none testified.
“We all have a role to play,” Allison added. “If we quit passing the buck and blaming everybody else, we can get something done.”
The conversation got heated at times, including when someone from Fort Wayne United talked about their project. Some of the families said they felt excluded from the video released earlier in the week.
It’s no surprise why intense emotions filled the room.
“I can’t imagine how painful it is for a woman to deliver a baby, but it’s even more painful when they have to bury that child,” David Miller said.
Miller’s grandson was killed in a shooting at East Central Towers and Gardens.