Minton-McNeill is accused of shoving Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Emily Perkins, who, along with other IMPD officers, responded to a 911 call that the councilwoman placed from her home Sunday. Perkins fell and suffered a minor wrist injury during the incident.
According to a police report, Minton-McNeill, who wanted a man removed from her house, shouted profanities at officers and accused them of racism for not meeting her demands. She also, according to the report, told the police to contact high-ranking officers and top city officials and tried to hand the officers her council business cards . . .
But Minton-McNeill's refusal on Monday to answer reporters' questions about the incident is troubling. Also disappointing is council Democrats' decision to conduct a closed-door meeting to discuss the arrest. Indianapolis residents deserve to hear from Minton-McNeill her version of what happened, whether she regrets anything she did or said, and how she plans to proceed. The secretive, ask-me-no-questions approach that she has thus far adopted is unacceptable given that she serves in public office, especially one that has budgetary and policy oversight for IMPD.
The council's Democratic leaders also need to explain how they plan to address the situation. So far, they've rallied around Minton-McNeill, but they have a larger responsibility to the community to ensure that this matter is handled with fairness for all involved, including the IMPD officers.
Democratic members hurt themselves last year in mishandling then-council President Monroe Gray's ethical problems. They need to respond this time in a manner that clearly shows they're placing the public's best interests above personal and partisan concerns.
A serious accusation has been made against an officeholder. Those involved can't hide behind a shield of no comment.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Star: "No Comment" From McNeil-Minton Won't Cut It
A Star editorial today takes aim at City-County Councilor Doris Minton-McNeil's arrest for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting law enforcement and her terse response to questions about it, "No comment." The editorial also whacks council Democrats for holding a behind-closed-doors meeting with the arrested councilor. Here's part of what it says: