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Expo to Review Security After Ten Injured in Shootout

Expo to Review Security After Ten Injured in Shootout

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Associated Press

July 21, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Black Expo will have police, ministers and business people review security and safety after weekend shootings that injured 10 young people marred the group’s Summer Celebration.

Black Expo President and chief executive Tanya Bell said the task force she announced Tuesday also would examine “the root causes of youth violence” after three shootings Saturday night outside Circle Centre mall in downtown Indianapolis injured 10 people aged from 10 to 19.

Deputy Police Chief William Benjamin has said the shootings might have been gang related. Detectives arrested a 17-year-old male in the case Monday.

The task force including representatives from the city, its police force and the Indiana State Police will recommend safety measures for future Black Expo events.

Summer Celebration is the statewide organization’s largest event, drawing tens of thousands of people from across Indiana and celebrities to Indianapolis for more than a week of concerts, workshops, economic opportunities and other events.

Bell said the task force will include Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams, presidents Don Welsh of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association and Mark Miles of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, and the Rev. Charles Ellis, a Baptist minister and director of the Ten Point Coalition in Indianapolis, a faith-based group that targets youth violence, illiteracy and joblessness.

Ellis called on parents and religious and community leaders not to turn children loose in downtown Indianapolis without adult supervision.

“We don’t have to wait for another incident. We need your presence downtown,” he said. “Youth need a plan. Direct them where they need to go. If you send your youth down there, you need to be down there as a part of the faith patrol.”

Bell said the security measures the task force will review include the creation of a weapons-free safety zone proposed by Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub. She also said it will look at whether some event should end earlier.

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