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Following a violent trend, the Kennedy-King neighborhood requests change from the IMPD



Indianapolis, Indiana – After a string of violent occurrences, dozens of city residents from the Kennedy-King neighborhood gathered at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Tuesday night to demand answers and changes from police officials.

Darian Wiley, 27, and Olivia Brown, 24, were shot and killed early on Saturday morning close to 21st and Ruckle streets.

Wiley’s neighbors and acquaintances claim that he was accompanying Brown to her car when two hooded guys approached and shot both of them.

“He was just a beautiful person,” said Wiley’s roommate Adam Novelli. “He always helped the community. He was just a beautiful soul.”

A residence was fired at just over 48 hours before the killings, with bullets blasting through the house where a toddler was sleeping and smashing windows.

The locals, who requested anonymity out of concern for their safety, claimed that before the hail of gunshots came their way, they had just stopped burglars from going through a car.

“This was a shock to all of us,” said neighborhood resident Brett McCullough. “We don’t expect this kind of violence in this direct neighborhood.”

McCullough was one of several people who showed out at the park to urge the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for clarification and demand that they improve.

Neighbors confronted IMPD’s North District Commander Michael Wolley during the almost two-hour meeting about what they saw to be a lack of patrols in the neighborhood and street lights that have remained unrepaired despite reports to the city.

Data from Wolley showed a 6% rise in violent crime in the area during the previous year. According to Wolley, the area had just one homicide in 2022 but already has two less than halfway through 2023.

The number of property crimes and serious assaults in the area is declining. However, Wolley said that vehicle-related burglaries have increased by 400%. The home was shot up as a result of the same kind of incident.

Some locals questioned what they could do to aid in crime prevention or facilitate police investigations.

Officials from IMPD urged locals to be watchful and get to know their neighbors. Some people weren’t happy with what they heard, but for some people, the officers aren’t to blame.

“I think they’re good people,” McCullough said. “I don’t think the system has helped. I think the system has failed us including the lights and patrols.”

The fact that many attendees at the conference were unaware that the residence had been shot up until after the double killing caused them great alarm. Novelli claimed that the outcome might have been different if they had known.

“He was not a person that would just be carefree and not pay attention to things like that,” Novelli said. “I know for a fact he would be cautious. So I think that would’ve saved anyone’s life.”

Following these upsetting instances, some locals expressed optimism that the community will come together. Many people were still concerned that they would experience what Darian did.

“De didn’t lose his life because he did something wrong. He lost his life because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” McCullough said. “Our neighborhood shouldn’t be the wrong place at the wrong time.”

In neither case have any arrests been reported. Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 317-262-TIPS or the IMPD Homicide Unit at 317-327-3475.