ANDERSON — The Anderson City Council’s Police Reform Special Committee meeting that was rescheduled to Wednesday evening was canceled for a second time because of improper public notice, though a group of community members decided to meet anyway.
The committee was forced to cancel a July 21 meeting that Council President Lance T. Stephenson had hoped to keep “private” among the nine committee members until it became public knowledge that it was to take place and was pushed back because of a perceived lack of transparency. This week’s meeting also was canceled on Tuesday after city officials determined incomplete notice had been given to the public.
Concerned citizen Lindsay Brown said he didn’t want to delay the police reform discussion because it’s important for Anderson to start the reform process, especially in light of cities like Indianapolis and Muncie that already have done so in spite of the potential for legal challenges.
“Instead of fighting against it, they should bring everybody to the table and say, ‘This is what we can do,’ instead of saying, ‘This is against the law, and we can’t do it,’” Brown told the handful of people who gathered Wednesday for the unofficial meeting on the Zoom conferencing platform.
“Yes, they do have a contract with the FOP, but when times get tough, you have to amend the contract.”
Brown said he doesn’t understand what he perceives as the city’s resistance to police reform.
“We’re trying to help you do your job. The community is not trying to hinder you from doing your job. Sometimes, you have to let your ego get out the way,” he said. “They’re trying to place chess when there’s no reason to play chess. They don’t need to do all that. They just need to come together and say, ‘Let’s make it happen.’”