Decision 2019: Forum held for Evansville city council candidates

Decision 2019: Forum held for Evansville city council candidates
Published: Sep. 17, 2019 at 11:04 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Nearly a dozen people vying for Evansville City Council gave their stance on critical issues the city faces Tuesday night. The forum was fueled by written questions submitted from the audience including community policing.

Each candidate who showed up was given one minute to give their responses on about half a dozen different issues.

Those topics ranged from homelessness and affordable housing to transparency and also LGBTQ rights.

However, the first question of the night was on how to strengthen the relationship between the police and the public.

On Monday EPD released body camera video of a police action in which a man died. The department is defending its officers’ actions saying the use of force was not deadly, only appropriate to the situation.

[Related: EPD says there was no officer wrong doing in man’s death]

It’s not the first time this year EPD’s had to explain its use of force.

Just last month a cell phone video showed a disorderly juvenile being taken to the ground by officers.

[Related: Local NAACP provides update on investigation into EVSC student’s arrest]

The local chapter of the NAACP is investigating.

Candidates said the following about the relationship between the police and the public:

“And the best analogy that I’ve heard is: diversity is asking someone who looks different than you to the party, inclusion is asking them to dance,” Natalie Rascher, the republican candidate of the 2nd ward said.

“Yes, de-escalation training should be an on-going thing with police,” democratic at-large candidate Gina Robinson Ungar told the crowd.

"For legal reasons, they can’t be completely forthcoming with it, but I think we need to do a better job with how we get out and say what we can say so people can are sure the police department is working on what they issue is,” Ron Beane, a republican at-large candidate explained.

“Coffee with Cop this morning, they have Cops Connecting with Kids where they build relationships and go to Disney World,” democratic council member Jonathan Weaver, who is running for re-election, stated.

“Having a positive police presence in the neighborhoods that struggle the most is really important,” democratic at-large candidate Kaitlyn Moore Morley suggested.

Other topics discussed Tuesday included financial stability within the city and environmental issues.

This event was held at the C.K. Newsome Center and was hosted by Indivisible Evansville.

October 7 is the voter registration deadline in Indiana. Early voting starts the next day.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5.

The state provides an online portal with beneficial information including registering to vote and polling places.

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