City-County Council reviews arrest of colleague
July 17th, 2009 update: Councilwoman cleared in June 2008 incident
Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News
Marion County - Democratic City-County Council members went into a closed-door meeting Monday night to review the arrest of a colleague accused of assaulting a police officer over the weekend.
15th District Council member Doris Minton-McNeill attended the meeting, but didn't talk about her arrest Sunday night.
Meanwhile, a special prosecutor will hear the case at the request of Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi. Brizzi removed his office from the case, since the City-County Council approves his budget.
Metro police arrested Minton-McNeill (D) on misdemeanor and felony charges. She faces battery with injury on a police officer, a felony, and resisting law enforcement.
Minton-McNeill called police Sunday around 5:00 pm about a man with a knife inside her Medford Avenue home. Officers say they smelled alcohol on her person after responding to the scene. Police say the councilwoman did not cooperate with their investigation and then accused them of not helping her. They also say she cursed at officers, accused them of being racist and tried to use her political position to stop the arrest.
"They also observed the woman appeared to be very agitated and had apparently been drinking at some point in time," said IMPD Sgt. Paul Thompson. "Immediately after they arrived, she tried to get back to her house."
Tapes of the call Minton-McNeill made to 911 were released Monday.
"This is Doris Minton, I've got a (expletive) pedophile over here touching kids wrong," she told the dispatcher, who asked her to calm down. "How can I calm down when I'm angry?"
Police say the man Minton-McNeill was referring to wasn't at the home. As officers tried to investigate, they say the council member became violent, charging one of the officers for an unknown reason as she tried to go into her house and injured the officer's wrist.
"The female ran towards the house and didn't run around the officer, but make contact with the officer," Sgt. Thompson said.
As officers were taking the woman into custody for battery of a police officer, she identified herself as a councilwoman.
"She did make that statement while she was being arrested that, 'You can't arrest me, I know this person, I know this person, I'm a City-County Councilman," IMPD Sgt. Matt Mount said.
Minton-McNeill admitted to drinking two margaritas, but said she wasn't drunk. She refused to take a blood alcohol test.
"Really during this whole ordeal, the officers weren't sure if they were maybe dealing with someone who was mentally ill or just intoxicated, because there was inconsistencies in things being said, accusations being made," Sgt. Mount said.
Meanwhile, Marion County's GOP leader, Tom John, issued the following statement: "The citizens of Indianapolis demand leaders who are servants of the law, not people who think they are above it. Doris Minton-McNeill should immediately resign her seat on the City-County Council."
"It is important that the process be allowed to work without any outside interference or partisan distractions. Councillor Minton-McNeill deserves the same consideration as anyone facing a similar situation," said Marion County Democratic Chairman Michael O'Conner.
Minton-McNeill is scheduled for court on Thursday of this week. She could not be reached for comment at her home or through the City-County Council office. The councilwoman attended Monday night's council meeting at the City-County Building, but did not speak with reporters.
Sunday's incident was not Minton-McNeill's first trouble with the law. Eyewitness News has found police arrested her in September 1992 for criminal conversion.
Marion County's Democratic party appointed Minton-McNeill to finish Congressman Andre Carson's term on the council.
(Eyewitness News reporter Jeremy Brilliant contributed to this story.)