Indy Police Protest At Council Meeting, Colts' Game
7:03 AM, Dec 19, 2006
Indianapolis police officer took a fight over money to the fans Monday night as members of the union representing the officers staged a protest outside the Colts' game against the Bengals.Officers handed out thousands of fliers critical of Mayor Bart Peterson after they found out they won't get the pay raise they expected as council members consider raising their own pay.
Officers crowded a city-county council meeting then took their protest outside the RCA Dome, 6News' Dan Spehler reported."It says, 'Bart lied,' and it refers directly to the retroactive pay and the promise of a contract," said Indianapolis police Officer Shay Foley."Everybody is really, really angry. Morale is at an all-time low, but sometimes administrations don't want to hear that," said Aaron Sullivan, the local president of the Fraternal Order of Police.The protest began with a raucous scene at city-county council in which officers were told to control their outbursts.WXNT radio host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz said the protest was meant to bring negative attention to the city's leaders and embarrass Peterson."If I was the mayor, I would be. It can't be good when you have people come to your city for the Colts game to see angry police officers at the doorstep handing out semi-inflammatory literature," Hakim-Shabazz said."Read about your mayor and how he lies to the city just so he can build a new dome. He doesn't care about anything else," said one officer. "Is it really safe to come to a game? I'd be wearing a bulletproof vest if I was some of you folks."The officer's comments were a not-so-veiled reference to a violent year in the city in which homicides increased dramatically.The mayor's office said a proposed pay raise, which was voted down by the FOP, went to finance the city's war on crime."When they voted it down, they voted it down," said Deputy Mayor Steve Campbell. "We had to move on and start budgeting for all the other things we need in the city."An ordinance drafted by the council's Democratic leadership would increase compensation from 12 to 21 percent of the mayor's base pay of $96,000.The net impact would increase the base pay by more than $8,500 a year, which is 75 percent."It just stinks. This is exactly why people are cynical of politicians -- this kind of lack of responsibility for the taxpayers' money," said Republican Councilor Scott Schneider.The council also borrowed against sewer tax revenue and raised Marion County's income tax rate to finance the war on crime.