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Council presses Police Chief on protest response

(Photo Supplied/John Finch)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne City Council pressed Police Chief Steve Reed last night on the Fort Wayne Police Department’s response to the first couple of days of George Floyd protests.

Back on May 29th and 30th, peaceful demonstrations turned chaotic as officers tossed tear gas and used pepper spray on demonstrators and some members of the media.

“Smoke canisters would be given for two purposes, possible and initial warning that more is coming and wind direction,” Reed said, adding that police gave a warning before doing so, while protesters and media reports differ.

Democratic Councilwoman Sharon Tucker tells our Partners in News at ABC 21 the Council got a number of letters from people who were angry with how police handled things.

“The emotions that come up for me is because I just don’t understand why there’s so much hate, and I recognize and realize that we aren’t able to change behaviors of people but in the places where we have the opportunity to make change then we have the responsibility as elected officials to make those changes,” Tucker said.

Republican Councilman Paul Ensley says he’s also on board with looking at what changes can be made in the way police do their jobs. Suggestions include requiring all officers to wear body cameras and setting up a board of citizens to review complaints against officers.

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Rocky June 10, 2020 at 10:11 am

Why doesn’t Fort Wayne just get rid of the police department all together just like Minneapolis is attempting to do. Isn’t that such a great idea and will solve all of the City’s problems…

Tina Clark June 11, 2020 at 12:07 am

I definitely feel Ft Wayne Police Dept. plus first responders need to have body cams be mandatory. Too many lax investigations that we, as victims, get minimal answers. We are made to feel as a burden. Thats not acceptable. They need to be held accountable, just as if they were investigating their own family.

Concerned Citizen June 12, 2020 at 10:50 am

I’m all for improving how the Police do their jobs as I am with improving any job in public service after all, taxpayers pay for it. I am also for personal accountability for your actions. Streets are for vehicles, bikes, etc. They are not for walking or running (except crossing appropriately, of course) in, standing in, sitting in, unless you’ve got permission from the appropriate authorities. There are laws that cover this. If you’re violating those laws and then refuse to stop braking those laws when directed by the Police, what is the appropriate response? When a peaceful protest begins to get out of hand and directions are given by the Police to address it and the response is met with resistance, what is the appropriate response? I don’t expect the Police to just continue to ask until their request is followed. There are consequences for that inappropriate behavior just as there is for inappropriate behavior by the Police. I understand why the focus is primarily on the Police right now. There also has to be a focus and accountability on people not obeying the law.


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