BEECH GROVE, Ind. - Thursday morning, the Beech Grove mayor, police chief, and other city officials sat down with local and national Walmart management. That meeting is just another part of the fallout from a brutal fight inside the store that got global attention.
“We met this morning, had a very good meeting,” said Dennis Buckley, Beech Grove Mayor.
Buckley said he walked away from a discussion with Walmart executives hopeful there will be changes at the store. Buckley hasn’t backed down since the viral fight on June 4th, calling the Emerson Avenue store off Interstate 465 a drain on Beech Grove Police, with roughly 500 police runs so far this year.
“When we started out, my position was no different than it was the other night. I consider them a nuisance, and I expect them to do better,” he said.
In the days since the fight, both women in the viral video have been charged.
Wednesday, prosecutors in Marion County charged Rebecca Mills with disorderly conduct. Last Friday, they charged mom Amber Stephenson with neglect of a dependent for involving her young son in the fight. Prosecutors later hit Stephenson with a disorderly conduct charge, too.
Beech Grove Council Member Anthony Davidson said the global attention was a reality check.
“I’m still in the military reserves, and I had a friend call in from Korea. And he saw his hometown Walmart on the news over there,” said Davidson.
Davidson said he’s had conversations of his own with Walmart in recent days and witnessed residents in Beech Grove recently rally around a crime watch program.
“I think it’s important for the city council to stay involved,” he said.
Mayor Buckley said the fight was embarrassing but shined a light on continual problems at Walmart. While he wouldn’t go into specifics, he said changes at the store are coming in the next couple of weeks.
“I suspect within the next two weeks, we’ll see a marked difference in the Walmart property. I think they took what we had to say seriously. I think they acknowledged some problems. I think they’re going to address it,” said Buckley.
Walmart released a statement after the meeting which reads in part:
"Walmart met with Beech Grove city leaders today to build on the work we've been doing with law enforcement and local residents over the past year. This gives us an opportunity to be more responsive to the needs of the community and we look forward to continuing that dialogue and partnership. "
Buckley’s holding a public meeting at city hall at 7 p.m. on Thursday night to discuss the Walmart incident and other recent crimes in Beech Grove.