The clergymen are calling for diversity training, more oversight in the department's internal reviews, and for officers to be equipped with body cameras.
Madison spoke publicly at the meeting for the first time. "I felt like a dog on that day. I felt like I couldn't stand up for my rights as a man," he said, recalling the incident that took place earlier this month.
Dozens of others followed Madison -- claiming they too had been wronged by Evansville officers.
"They just don't know how to treat people. I'm afraid of the police officers and I don't commit a crime but I'm afraid, " said Council President Connie Robinson, D-4th Ward. "You think they might let me get away with something or they respect me? NO! Half of them don't even speak to me! Don't get me started on this."
EPD says the meeting was one sided -- calling much of the testimony 'bogus.' "There's a lot of irony for a group of individuals to publicly ridicule somebody while asking for respect at the same time," said Sgt. Jason Cullum, Public Information Officer for the Evansville Police Department. "Everything was one sided to bolster the claims that were going on and really what happened tonight, to me, was unacceptable."
Cullum was especially troubled by the crowd's reaction as a man publicly spoke about a time he knocked out an officer. Some people in the crowd laughed and cheered as the man detailed the incident, for which he admitted to serving jail time.
The City Council cannot put the Concerned Clergy of Evansville's requested training and equipment into the budget -- that is the city administration's responsibility. However, the council is the body that would approve the addition of such items into the city budget.