What happens when citizens raise their own voices to protest decisions being made by the City Council? Nothing happens because we live in a free country protected by the 1st Amendment. We all have the right to protest or speak our mind. Well, if you live in Muncie, what you get is harassed by the Muncie Police Department. Here’s a department already in hot water from the Feds for civil rights violations but it doesn’t bother them to be used as a weapon by a council member who’s been covering her tracks ever since working on a $1 million contract with the FOP and using the police department’s budget to pay for Muncie Sanitary Department employees.
When you hear the term “weaponizing the police department”, you generally think of Fascism, mainly a right-wing tactic. In Muncie, not so much the case. When Nora Powell gets challenged for her work on the FOP contract, one where she was more advocate than a representative of the taxpayers, her step-son, Jon Powell and company came to the rescue.
Not only did she assist in getting MPD a lucrative contract, but she also assisted in getting two MPD code enforcement employees to be paid by the street department. Hocus pocus sleight of hand.
The two citizens feeling the wrath are citizen journalist Kristopher Bilbrey and a previous city council candidate, Audie Barber. Both have had their criminal history reports pulled by different Muncie Police officers. The latter has eloquently put together a timeline of events on Facebook. If you have an account, you can access through this link: Audie Barber video.
No attempts to contact Jon Powell have been made since he is on leave. However, while on leave (paid I presume), he made the following statement to Sergeant Joseph Krejsa:
“Was upset about comments made by Barber towards his mother, Nora Powell, of inappropriate and illegal nature.” ~ Jon Powell
However, there are no police reports filed – none. No illegal activity noted anywhere other than comments – questions asked of Nora during a City Council meeting shortly after the May Primary.
Then another criminal history report was pulled by Bryan Ashton after Kristopher Bilbrey attended a City Council meeting after the election. Once again, the police report references “threats by Audie Barber.” No threats were made at City Council or elsewhere. No police reports have ever been filed by Nora Powell.
When did asking questions to council members bother the Muncie Police Department so much?
Maybe it’s because the questions pertained to the lucrative contract Nora Powell helped garner for the MPD. I pulled a records request and Nora provided little showing how she negotiated this lucrative contract. In fact, it would show she was absent from representing the people but this was not the case.
Most bizarre was a “supplemental case report” written by Nathan Sloan on July 9 about his attendance at the Muncie City Council meeting. This report was written after the Indiana State Police inquiry with the MPD about the criminal history filings. It wreaks of Joe Winkle asking another officer to “cover their asses”.
Nathan was supposedly asked by the chief to escort Ms. Powell to her car because the meeting was “controversial.” Anyone can review the meeting at the City of Muncie website. There were no threats and why is Officer Sloan writing a report in July over a May 13th event?
Pulling criminal histories on citizens is a serious offense – one that got the Muncie Police Department sanctioned by the Indiana State Police. Their motto, to protect and serve, seems to only concern those who have helped the police department with pay raises and special equipment. When people start probing into their contract, they become a weapon against the public.