‘Changing the narrative’ in Fishers with hopes to strengthen the community

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FISHERS, Ind. — People joined hands in Fishers once again Sunday afternoon for a well-needed discussion.

Dozens gathered at the Nickel Plate District with hopes to change the narrative and make their voices heard. 

“A lot of different people from a lot of different cultures trying to figure out where everybody’s common ground is so we can all navigate this together,” said Fisher Police Chief Ed Gebhart.

They’re working to navigate with those who are at the forefront of the conversation and those who have never been a part of it. 

“I think it should’ve been done a long time ago,” said Cumberland resident Mara Anderson.

“I think people have been speaking up for years, decades…We just hit a boiling point. And I think it’s only exaggerated by the pressure of COVID-19,” said Cumberland resident Vincent Anderson.

Throughout the nearly two-mile walk, Chief Gebhart engaged in conversation to find out what’s needed. 

“It’s important to me that the police department understands how to police Fishers—it’s our community. So our community needs things, and I want to make sure we provide that. We have surveys, we have different ways and means of getting a hold of us,” said Chief Gebhart. 

People of all ages showed up for different reasons. Christina McGairk said she is teaching her daughter “TT” to embrace all cultures. 

“I think it’s an important cause. My parents had friends of all cultures. They taught me to see people for who they are, not what they are,” said McGarik.

Chief Gebhart says they’re hoping to bring the community in more while also asking for feedback on their current use of force policy.

“In this profession, I don’t know that you’re ever doing everything you can. It’s a dynamic profession that changes consistently…We’re open to change and be better, and I want the community to be a part of that change in being better,” said Chief Gebhart. 

It’s been ten days since protests began here in Indiana, but those participating say their feet remain on the pedal until their voices are heard loud and clear. 

“We need to keep the momentum going. We need to fight the exhaustion. And every new story, we need to let it strengthen our result, we need to let that hurt fuel us and keep us going,” said Vincent. 

Chief Gebhart and those who participated say they are hoping to do more in the near future. 

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