INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –Indianapolis City-County Council Republicans and their allies, dismayed by a Democrat party line vote that rejected a proposal last week to establish a commission to look at violent crime in Indianapolis, announced their own plan today to the jeers of frequent administration critics and community activists.
“I didn’t see you. I didn’t see you. I didn’t see you. Where the hell you been at?” one woman shouted on the plaza at the City Market, her ire directed at both Republican and Democrats from the council, ministers and Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder.
“This is the outrage we’re looking for,” said Snyder, who has long criticized the lack of public passion on behalf of city leaders.
Republican Brian Mowery, architect of the failed council proposal, said the summit is intended to seek input from throughout Indianapolis.
“We want to bring people who have had successes in their neighborhoods and lets us know what they’re doing, let other neighborhoods know what they’re doing, and we can bounce these ideas off each other and try to create a solution that works for everyone.”
Mowery was joined by Councilor Dan Boots, a north side Democrat.
“We would like to see any summit include an engagement of our city’s youth serving organizations and youth from the communities most impacted by violence and a genuine discussion of the ease of illegal firearms and the public health crisis they’ve created in Indianapolis.”
Mayor Joe Hogsett later said that while he favors gathering public input, he cautioned against city officials getting bogged down in the process of endless study and delayed decision making.
“We’re always willing to hear from the community,” he said. “We encourage community participation. But creating another bureaucracy just to talk some more about fighting crime won’t save the life of a single individual. What we’re doing today, the actions that we’re taking as a community today, I hope are having a positive effect.”
Mowery angered the crowd when he announced that the first session of the summit would occur next Monday behind closed doors at an undisclosed location attended only by “stakeholders.”