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Rally calls attention to 2020 homicide, systemic racism

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A two-day rally July 16-17 will feature a news conference regarding the 2020 killing of Dorian Murrell and an armed demonstration in downtown Indianapolis.

Organized by Corey Goodridge, those joining the rally will be able to speak with national civil rights attorney Mikil Shabazz. Goodridge said he plans to file a civil suit against the city for answers in the deaths of Dreasjon Reed, McHale Rose and Dorian Murrell.

Reed, 21, and Rose, 18, were shot and killed by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers on the evening of June 6, 2020, and the early morning of June 7, 2020, respectively. While no charges will be brought against the officers involved in the shootings, many in the community are skeptical about the charges brought against Murrell’s killer.

Murrell, 18, was shot and killed downtown at roughly 2:30 a.m. May 31, 2020. Tyler Newby, 30, told a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy he shot Murrell after a physical altercation. However, a family member who was with Murrell at the time of the shooting said no fight took place, but that Murrell collapsed after being hit with a bullet from an unknown source.

Despite being charged with murder, Newby was released on $250,000 bail in August 2020, with Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears citing non-disclosed “exceptional circumstances.”

Organizers of the weekend rally hope to apply pressure to the city for answers in the teenager’s death.

“The families of victims can’t get answers,” Goodridge said. “With Dorian’s case, we’ve been trying to get answers for the past year, and there are so many questions and inconsistencies with the case. The evidence isn’t adding up.”

At 5 p.m. July 16, a panel discussion about systemic racism will take place at Hovey Street Church, 2338 Hovey St. Dave Rozzell, a minister and organizer of the Veterans Association of African Descendants, will take part in the discussion.

“We want to talk about how white supremacy has affected Americans of African descent and what we have done to try to overcome it,” Rozzell said. “We want young people to understand how we as a people have been affected by this and what young people need to do in order to make sure that as we move forward in the future, we’re moving in a positive [direction]… in the way we deal with racism and white supremacy.”

On July 17, an armed demonstration will take place at Pan Am Plaza. While Rozzell is unsure whether he’ll participate, he said it’s important for people to be aware of the threat of racism and how to protect themselves.

To participate in the armed demonstration, you must register before the event by sending your contact information to justice4dorian317@gmail.com.
Rozzell said the event is a good way to not just get answers in Murrell’s death, but to make a difference in the community.

“The most important thing is to make your views and your voice heard,” Rozzell said. “This Friday, if we don’t have a strong showing, then I think that might send the wrong signal. To the contrary, if we have a strong showing, it sends a strong signal to city and state officials that as a community and as Americans of African descendants, we won’t just sit idly by and allow these things to continue. They will be held accountable now and in future elections, and if these elected officials do not answer the questions that we have to our satisfaction, maybe it’s time for us to have some different officials elected.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

To learn more about the rally, contact justice4dorian317@gmail.com. To join the Veterans Association of African Descendants, email Dave Rozzell at daverozzell@gmail.com.

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