Watch: Bodycam footage released of Amy Word’s arrest

Franklin St. business owners react to drug bust at Lamasco
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Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 3:31 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Tuesday, August 2 the Evansville School Corporation Board of School Trustees president Chris Kiefer released a statement about the arrest of one of their members.

EVSC school board member Amy Word was among 22 people arrested in a drug investigation. Six of those people were arrested Saturday, July 30.

On behalf of the school board, Kiefer released the following statement:

Indiana law does not allow for the removal of an elected school trustee by fellow school board members. Trustees can only be removed if convicted of a felony. I asked Trustee Word for her resignation during our conversation, and she indicated that her legal counsel has advised her not to do so. In light of this decision, I requested that she consider a leave of absence from the board, which she has agreed to do. The school board will consider her request at the next scheduled meeting on Monday, August 8th.

On Monday, Word released a statement on the Lamasco Bar and Grill Facebook page.

She highlighted several points about the search and her arrest, which you can read here.

The Evansville Police Department caught up with our 14 News crew to give an update on the incident, and said they’d been after drug activity in people that frequented the area for years.

[Previous Story: EPD provides update on drug investigation involving EVSC board member, bar owner]

After witnessing “hand-to-hand” drug transactions in the Lamasco parking lot, the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force conducting traffic stops, leading to six arrests. One of those arrests being Word.

On Tuesday, EPD released bodycam footage of Word’s arrest. You can watch that video down below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

For business owners in the area, they understand that violence and drug use are issues that exist nearby.

Owner of Thyme in the Kitchen Marcia Jochem, has run her business on Franklin Street for nine years, but says that her and her customers feel safe.

“Violence and drug use is an issue across the city. Mental health issues are across the city. It’s not just this corridor,” says Jochem. “I’m really pleased that the Evansville Police Department is really focusing on this area, and trying to clean that up a little bit. As a retailer, we enjoy making sure our customers are safe.”

Paul’s Menswear treasurer Shawn Eickhoff shares a similar sentiment, and says Paul’s Menswear will celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2023.

“We have installed cameras, so we keep a watch on things, but we’ve never had to do any prosecution or anything like that,” Eickhoff says. “We feel very safe. I feel very safe.”

According to officials with the Evansville Police Department, between May of 2022 and August of 2022, they responded to 34 different calls in the area regarding disorderly conduct, shots fired, intoxicated persons, criminal mischief, suspicious circumstance, loud music and battery incidents.

Still though, Franklin Street businesses say they keep in close-contact with one another, and ensure that they can all keep their livelihoods and their patrons safe.

Those six that were arrested on Saturday are due back in court Wednesday

Vendors on Franklin St. say they are excited to put this and other incidents of drug-use and violence behind them and move on to local upcoming events.

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