Evansville police chief speaks out about rise in gang violence - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville police chief speaks out about rise in gang violence

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Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin is speaking out about the recent rise in gang violence. The violence has sent at least six people to the hospital so far this year. 

"We just need the community to step up and say, 'We don't want our son, we don't want our nephew, we don't want whoever dying from one of these bullets. Let's stop it now," Bolin says.

Bolin tells 14 News that the Gang Task Force has been working to try to link suspects to some of the crimes. The most recent was the early Saturday morning shooting of Timothy Rice by Hammerheads in downtown. 

Police say it wasn't just a coincidence that police were around the corner from the shooting. Officials say the officers have been working to identify gang members and are watching for criminal activity. Police arrested Tony Johnson, Torrance Mimms and Luther Lawton during the shooting.

They say with every arrest, the community becomes a safer place. Since these three arrests, there haven't been any gang related incidents.

Police say there's always someone waiting to take their place, which is why they want the community to stand up against the violence.

"What we really need is just for the public to work with us. People to say, enough is enough. I know my nephew's involved or I know something. Maybe even get with us and have us come sit down in their living room to talk with them, tell them the dangers of what's going to happen if they don't get out of this lifestyle. We're open to any ideas that we can get from the public, but it's going to be a partnership. It's not going to be something we're going to solve on our own," Bolin says.

Those three suspects are still in jail, all charged with criminal gang activity. Chief Bolin says those are charges that will hopefully keep them off the streets.

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