Immediately following the City Country meeting on Monday Feb. 11, 2008 I asked Councilman Andre Carson a question about his vote in the transfer of IMPD back to the Mayor. I asked in general why his votes were along party line and not based on what was best for the public safety of Indianapolis. I followed that question with another. “If elected to Congress are you going to represent the citizens of the 7th or are you going to vote party line and follow the lead of the democrat caucus?”Perhaps an even more serious matter for the council to consider is Carson's use of local law enforcement officers at a staged campaign event last Friday. Carson used Chief Deputy Kerry Forestal and other local law enforcement officers as stage props at a press conference he conducted for his congressional campaign last Friday to tout his credentials on homeland security. This clearly was improper. Uniformed police officers have no business participating in Carson's political events.
Councilman Carson at this time became very aggressive and with a raised voice he told me that I wasn't going to ask “bating” questions at every City-Council meeting. Councilman Carson then stated that I was “grandstanding” and was only “craving attention“.
Councilman Carson then loudly told me to “get out!” referring to the city-county building. I asked what authority he had to expel me and he became more aggressive and began shouting at me. Councilmen Gray and Bateman had to get him to calm down.
I then, politely and calmly, reminded Councilman Carson that as a citizen of Indianapolis I have a right to be in the city-county building and that I was at a public assembly in a public building and asking questions of a city councilman. At this time Councilman Carson loudly shouted at me with the threat that “he would take measures to see that I wouldn't do it again” (ask question of a councilman again).
I never became aggressive or disrespectful to Councilman Carson. I never raised my voice. I simply asked Councilman Carson why he voted along party lines and he took exception.
Councilman Carson is under the assumption that his seat on the city-county council comes with authority to expel citizens from public buildings. I believe that Councilman Carson intentionally and with malice tried to intimidate and silence me at a public assembly. Councilman Carson through intimidation tried to force me into exiting the city-county building.
Councilman Carson’s shouting and threats reek of intimidation and were very unprofessional and unethical.
Councilman Carson was elected to Represent the citizens of Indianapolis, making threats and ordering citizens to leave a public building is not representation.
I’m requesting a full investigation of this matter and request that Councilman Carson be charged with ethics violations if warranted.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Citizen Ethics Complaint Filed Against Carson
A frequent citizen attendee at Indianapolis City-County Council meetings has filed an ethics complaint with Council President Robert Cockrum against Councilor Andre Carson (D). Ernie Shearer claims in his complaint that Carson became angry with him when he questioned him after the last council meeting about his vote against transferring control of IMPD from the sheriff's department to the mayor. He says Carson started shouting at him and ordered him out of the City-County Building. Shearer believes Carson's demeanor towards him was threatening and intimidating. The allegations laid out in Shearer's complaint are as follows: