Man hoping basketball tournament will build trust between IMPD and east side neighborhood

Jomo Cole,The popular barber cuts the latest style at Harold's Barber Shop near 10th Street and Rural Street. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Jomo Cole spent Monday afternoon cutting hair.

The popular barber cuts the latest style at Harold’s Barber Shop near 10th Street and Rural Street.

Over the years, the neighborhood has made a name for itself, and sometimes for the wrong reasons. According to IMPD, those that live in that neighborhood are 100 times more likely to witness a non-fatal shooting than other communities in the city. On Saturday, Mayor Joe Hogsett, and IMPD Chief Bryan Roach toured the neighborhood. They talked with residents, business owners, and asked those in the community what they need to make that neighborhood better.

Cole is aware of the criminal activity, so much so that he’s taken steps to address it. His goal is to create a community center and programs for teenagers. Recently, he came up with a plan that will raise money and build trust between IMPD and those that live in that community. His idea is a basketball tournament that will take place in the neighborhood, against police and teenagers.

“I even have young ladies wanting to do it, and even Chief Roach says you know we are going to kick yall’s tail,” said Cole.

As Cole formalizes his plan, he came across an obstacle, he needs a gym for the games. After calling around he discovered that Arsenal Technical High School’s gym would be perfect for the games; however, he doesn’t have enough money for the one day rental fees.

“It’s a little frustrating trying to find a gym where I could host the event,” said Cole.

Despite not having a gym in place, Cole is moving forward with the plan. He wants to give teens an alternative to crime, back in 1995 Cole served prison time. Through the years, he’s articulated to others how choices have consequences, and now he’s move forward with a plan to give others better choices.

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