Linton Council rejects request to ‘abolish terrorist organization’

Monday, March 18, 2024

All members of the Linton City Council were present during the March public session on Monday, March 11.

At the meeting’s outset, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by student Cooper Edmondson, who was accompanied by his parents, Katie and Andy as well as his brother, Beckett.

The council faced an interesting proposal during the public comment section of the meeting, when first-time attendee Craig Hendry read a prepared statement in which he asked the council to abolish the Linton Police Department while his companion, Tyler Pierce, filmed the address on his mobile phone.

Hendry’s address is as follows:

“I represent a faction of people in the City of Linton that are oftentimes not heard but are still real people nonetheless, they have families and loved ones. I’m here to speak about what’s written on the side of our police cruisers here in town, that is,’to protect and serve’,” Hendry began. “On July 26, 2022, in Linton, Indiana, armed thugs showed up at my home when I was not there. They kicked in the door and searched my house looking for me. Not having any luck when they couldn’t locate me, they left.” At this point, Council President Linda Bedwell asked, “Sir, what was your name? I didn’t catch it.”

“My name is Craig,” Hendry replied. Bedwell asked for his last name and how to spell it, and Hendry complied.

Resuming his address, Hendry said, “Shortly after I returned home around midnight that night, the aggressors returned as well. They banged loudly on my door, and demanded that I allow them entry. They threatened to break into my home if I did not comply with their demands. When I opened the door, I was kidnapped by them and hauled to a concrete cage where they kept me against my will for a period of 45 days. Who were these disrespectful thugs that did this to me, my family and our property, you might ask. It was none other than the Linton Police Department. They told me that the reason they did this, the reason they were protecting and serving the absolute crap out of me on this particular occasion, was because I had sold cannabis, a plant that grows from the ground, to consenting adults almost a year earlier, right? Obviously a good reason to break into somebody’s home, ha ha, not. They told me that the reason, no, sorry, the Linton PD’s actions demonstrated the extreme need to abolish this entire department, right? When the local police are not wandering around aimlessly, spending taxpayer dollars on gas, creating wear and tear on the vehicles that we’ve paid for, and all the while collecting a generous salary at the expense of the taxpayers, when they are not doing this it seems they are dead-set on terrorizing those of the community that seem to be undesirable to them.”

Hendry continued, briefly seeming to shift his sights onto the council itself before returning to his complaint against police. “Of course, we know the council won’t abolish these useless and dangerous tax leeches because they seem to fall into that same category. But to the council member’s benefit, they don’t personally go out and extort the community through traffic tickets or terrorize them under the color of law. But, to the council member’s detriment, nobody has advocated that we rid ourselves of this poison that uses taxpayer money to harass taxpayers. In closing this, I will quote the great Thomas Jefferson. He said, ‘Fellow citizens, a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own affairs.’ Sorry, let me get this right, ‘their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.’ We can see that in Jefferson’s estimation, Linton has become a bad government as it is hard to conceive how their actions of destroying my property, kidnapping me and taking me from my family and holding me in a concrete cage against my will was geared towards preventing me from injuring another. To the contrary, this attack on me at the hands of the City of Linton was geared towards injuring me, my reputation, my family’s sustenance, but most importantly it was geared towards depriving me of my liberty, a crime that is unforgivable at best. But in days past, the penalties for taking a man’s liberty have risen to the level of death and that shouldn’t be forgotten. So, with that, the whole purpose of that is, I really, really ask that you abolish this terrorist organization that is sponsored by the taxpayers of Linton, Indiana. If there are any questions or comments I would be happy to take them at this time.”

Councilman Greg Sapp addressed Hendry.

“We appreciate your coming before the council,” Sapp said. “Your concerns have been heard. We have no intention of abolishing the Linton Police Department. We stand behind our law enforcement officers, and I would like to offer the floor to (Chief) Paul Clark, if you have anything to say in rebuttal to the public comments.”

Clark stood at the back of the room and replied, “I would say that the public records in Mr. Hendry’s case speak for themselves. No need for me to make a comment. I am talking about the probable cause affidavits, warrants and things like that.”

Hendry continued to argue, complaining about the alleged presence of video taken during his arrest, which he claims has not been released as public record, although it is said to be viewable by him at the police department.

“Thank you,” Hendry said to the council, “thank you for doing that.”

Next an opportunity to comment was requested by Councilman Tony Richards.

“What I’d like to say is, the council does not control the police department whatsoever. If there is a problem, it can be brought to the mayor and it becomes a civil matter or into the council on public safety, not the city council. It’s the Board of Works and Safety that would handle such an issue. Now, I can’t say what happens there, but if the police have probable cause, they wouldn’t just kick in doors for no reason.”

“It’s all subjective, Sir,” Hendry said. “I would just like to add that you could just not appropriate the funds or funding to this particular organization.”

Bedwell then made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was unanimously approved.

To clarify the brief statement by Clark as to Hendry’s record, all of the activity can be verified at www.mycase.com, and as it is publicly available, it can be summarized here. To avoid what is not intended to be a personal attack but merely background information perhaps not generally known to the public, in Greene County Hendry does have a series of convictions locally, including misdemeanor charges of OVI endangering a person, domestic battery possession of marijuana, with at least one case dismissed after a negotiated plea agreement in another case, traffic infractions, a juvenile paternity case, criminal trespass and felony charges in Greene County for intimidation, strangulation, criminal confinement, domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. In one case, Hendry negotiated an agreement to plead guilty to the felony domestic battery charge in exchange for the other charges being dropped. Hendry was sentenced and completed his sentence.

Charges in other nearby counties do not apply to the subject at hand , but are public record for those wishing to view a complete list.

While Clark made little statement at the meeting, the police chief is known to defend his department and to stand by and support his staff and its reputation in the Linton community.

As spoken by former Chief Troy Jerrell in a 2023 interview, “This community has always stood up for its law enforcement, has always been very supportive and has always had faith in police,” Jerrell added. “I’m very proud of the job Chief Clark has done in keeping this going. He’s done an exceptional job and made (National Night Out) even better for the community.”

In other business:

The council voted 5-0 to approve an additional one-year for the Mini-Golf course at Humphreys Park to Gary White. Council members commented the course had not been open very often during the past year, and White explained he had pressing family matters to deal with, and the council said they understood. White assured the council his personal issues were resolved and he will be putting his daughter-in-law in charge to run the course during the upcoming year. White has insurance on the business, and the council had no objections.

The council also approved a one-year lease to the MX Club for use of the Conservation Club. The club plans to use the area five or six times over the course of a year.

Mayor Preble announced the final approval by SIDC for awards to contractors to repair four owner-occupied blighted homes in the city. The final bid approvals were #107 for $36,700 to Brock Anderson Construction, #108 for $21,100 to Brock Anderson Construction, #109 for $22,635 to KD Mendenhall and #110 for $13,250 to Brock Anderson Construction.

Preble broke the news of the recent resignation of Linton Fire Chief Colton Murray, effective March 10.

Preble announced the promotion of LFD Captain Eric Carpenter as Interim Fire Chief. Carpenter has served 23 yearsa with the department, eight of them as captain.

“People are welcome to contact me with any questions or concerns,” Carpenter said. “I can be reached at 812-847-4413 or by email at ecarpenter@cityoflinton.com.”

Inergize Linton’s Beth Mason gave a presentation on the group’s progress, explaining that in February, the group applied for and was approved for inclusion in the Indiana Main Street program.

Inergize Linton’s Design Committee will work with IU’s Rural Placemaking Studio, who will provide an IU team to help with design, budgeting and implementation of improvements to the wide alley located next to The Vault on Main Street. Mason said the Mondays on Main event is being planned for the next season and the group is planning a community clean-up day. She added Inergize Linton committee meetings will be held April 17 at the Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center of Linton. Committees will meet at 5 p.m. and the public session will begin at 6 p.m..

Preble commended the group, thanking Mason personally and praising the group’s newfound position to qualify for more grant funding and new grant options.

The next meeting of the Linton City Council will take place on Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. at Linton City Hall.

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    I’ve seen Paul Clark do the right thing many times. Keep up the good work.

    -- Posted by JohnPColeman on Tue, Mar 19, 2024, at 3:08 AM
  • Mugshot?

    -- Posted by ille de civitate on Tue, Mar 19, 2024, at 1:54 PM
  • This guy has got some serious issues that needs to be addressed by a mental health professional

    -- Posted by hellomisskitty66 on Tue, Mar 19, 2024, at 6:34 PM
  • -- Posted by JohnPColeman on Wed, Mar 20, 2024, at 8:33 AM
  • ille de civitate, there is no mugshot, as Hendry has not been recently arrested in Greene County. A Google search, however, will provide you with several from other counties. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading! I will update if and when a mug shot becomes available.

    -- Posted by pattidanner on Wed, Mar 20, 2024, at 5:52 PM
  • John Coleman, I too have seen Chief Clark "in action," and I have to commend his innate ability to always act correctly and uphold the law. I would absolutely want him on my team in a water balloon fight or a potato sack race :-)

    -- Posted by pattidanner on Mon, Mar 25, 2024, at 6:33 PM
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