INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – City and community leaders got into a heated debate on how to stop the violence in Indianapolis on Thursday. But it wasn’t behind closed doors or even in a public meeting. To see it and even chime in yourself, you simply had to pull out your smart phone.
It all started when Mayor Greg Ballard unveiled his plan to curb crime in the city on Wednesday. It’s been the big story not only in newsrooms, but on Twitter. And it’s on that public forum where one particular debate had everyone wondering what each side would tweet next.
On one side, there’s Reverend Charles Harrison, leader of the Ten Point Coalition, an organization focused on grass roots efforts to stop crime and violence. On the other was Maggie Lewis, City County Council President for Indianapolis.
On Thursday, the two community leaders had two differing opinions.
“I have one I put it out there, Councilman Lewis had one, she put it out there,” said Harrison.
“We just went back and forth this morning talking about crime in our community,” said Lewis.
Filling feeds across the Twitter world, the pair let loose how they felt about Mayor Ballard’s plan to stop the violence.
“In four years we will have the largest number of IMPD officers in department history,” proclaimed Mayor Ballard during a news conference outlining his plan Wednesday.
“I tend to agree with IMPD. They say that they need 500 officers on the street,” said Lewis.
But Harrison disagreed saying that isn’t the only solution.
The amount of officers wasn’t the only number they disagree on. Funding for crime prevention and incarceration heated up as well and the rest of the world was taking notice.
“I found it interesting when people started texting me and emailing me talking about ‘Hey I’m following what’s going between you and pastor. I agree with you on this, I disagree with you on that,’” said Lewis.
“We want to hear the different viewpoints and opinions that people have,” added Harrison.
It seemed to be the one thing both could agree on. Not just stopping the violence, but making sure everyone has a say in how.
“It doesn’t matter where it happens. If it happens on social media, if it happens at the barber shop, beauty shop, as long as that conversation is going,” said Lewis.
Lewis and Harrison were excited to see others chiming in on their debate, and both wanted 24 Hour News 8 to remind people that they’re always willing have those conversations with people on Twitter and Facebook.