African – American Leaders Calling for Change and Leadership after Unsolved Murders

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Although this year there have been fewer murders in Des Moines, nearly half of the killers are still on the loose. Police say the main reason the crimes have gone unsolved are due to the lack of witness cooperation.

However, community leaders hope to break down the so – called “honor code” in 2017 in hopes of strengthening relations between minority communities and police.

“We are not stepping up. We are not saying enough. We are letting fear be our successor," says Will Keeps. "The street code is controlling. It’s like they are controlling us like we are slaves, slaves to their power."

Keeps is a local music artists whose music targets young minorities and depicts a message of hope and change. He says change will come in the African – American community when it begins to utilize community resources while supporting others who are rallying for change.

“When people are out here doing things to create something more, we have to embrace it. When you see there are programs, we can’t ignore it,” he says.

Community leaders are also calling for more leaders to step up in 2017. NAACP youth advisor, Arnold Woods is calling on young people to spearhead change.

“They will latch on to more youth leadership then they will adult leadership. The youth who are really stepping out to be a positive influence can gather more youth. Youth bring together more youth," he says.

Woods says the city’s youth is well aware of what is happening in Des Moines and are looking for ways to make change.

“I encourage them not to be apathetic and not feel like they can’t still make a positive impact on the community.”




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