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September 15, 2014

One of the key differences between black and white communities is how they react or respond to racist violence.

Blacks react. Whites respond.

When a white cop shot and killed 19-year-old Michael Brown in self defense, the black community in Ferguson reacted by rioting, burning, and looting.

However, when a white cop was killed by a black male in Indianapolis, the white community responded with a Unity Rally.

From our source we read:
IMPD faced the loss of officer Perry Renn in early July.  Renn was fatally shot in a confrontation he and another police officer had with a 25-year-old suspect. The suspect, Major Davis Jr., has been charged with murder and faces the death penalty.

The Day of Unity rally and community initiative was influenced by Renn’s widow, Lynn Sappenfield-Renn. She wrote a letter, which IMPD spokesman Chris Bailey read at the rally, urging the community and police to take advantage of the opportunity to get to know each other.

“Our citizens build this city, while our officers protect it,” Bailey said, reading from her letter. “I believe it is time for both sides to unite as one and work together to make the city a safe and enjoyable place to live. If we were able to build positive relationships between the community and law enforcement now in times of peace, we will be able to support and lean on each other in times of tragedy.”

Authorities who spoke echoed Sappenfield-Renn’s sentiments and encouraged community members to meet with police. They also said they plan to be active around the communities to make their presence clear. Some of them, including Hite, made references to police officers’ “I will always get out of my car” campaign that went viral. The campaign spread after a local TV station published a story claiming a member of Davis’ family said that if Renn hadn’t gotten out of his car, he would still be alive.

“We do get out of our cars,” Hite said. “We do get in our neighborhoods. We do care about our families. We do kick down the doors as Rod Bradway did. We still make a difference wherever we go.”

Cynthia Davis, the mother of the suspect in Renn’s slaying, appeared at the rally with a family spokesman, the Rev. Mmoja Ajabu. She declined to comment, but Ajabu spoke, saying he did so on Davis’ behalf. Ajabu criticized authorities for the “get out of my car” campaign and its response to a quote that he says wasn’t real.

“We don’t believe a movement should be based on deception,” Ajabu told The Star, adding that “she (Cynthia Davis) never said those words.”

IMPD Chief Rick Hite did not comment on Cynthia Davis’ appearance and the statement by Ajabu. Hite said in a statement in August that he understands her concerns about her son.

The rally drew dozens of officers, victims’ families and other civilians, many of whom expressed support for the initiative.

Donna Jaffke, the mother of the slain pizza deliverer, sat at Monument Circle on Friday making balloons for the rally. Each balloon had the name of a homicide victim. Her son, 30-year-old Daniel Jaffke, was murder victim No. 17.

“I want to see the murders stop,” Donna Jaffke said, fighting back tears.

Donna Jaffke said the last several months have been torturous, but her friends have kept her going. Attending community events like the Day of Unity rally are comforting.

“We absolutely have to work together,” she said. “We have to let the murderers know we’re not going to put up with that.”
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