(Michigan City, IN) - The Mayor of Michigan City will be asked to resign during a protest this afternoon over a statement that many in the African American ministerial community find offensive. The protest, largely organized by members of the ministerial community, is scheduled to begin at 3 P.M. outside the Michigan City City Hall.
Pastor James Lane said the Mayor called him back over a matter of concern recently and left him a voicemail. Lane said the “hot mic” statement was made after the Mayor thought he had hung up the phone, and the comments were recorded on the voicemail.
“They want a f____ing audience. You know, these black guys. They all want a f___ing audience,” Mayor Duane Parry said on the recording.
“The Mayor made a statement that is so disturbing; I don’t want to repeat it. It’s not something that should be coming from the Chief Executive of our city.”
Both sides tried to reach each other over the mayor's criticism made of the Police Chief Dion Campbell asking citizens in a letter for donations for causes like the Police Department Easter Egg Hunt. Parry claimed that Campbell was begging for money in a press release and later stated there were funds already in the Chief’s budget for community-type projects.
Pastor Dwayne Hurt said the Mayor should have approached Chief Campbell in private about his concerns. Critics of the Mayor‘s handling of the situation say the Police Department has sought donations for years for community service work-related projects.
The Mayor felt Campbell should have sought permission first before seeking donations, saying it’s the job of elected officials to provide for the community's needs with existing tax dollars without soliciting the public for more funds.
When contacted today, Parry declined to respond to the recording. Parry, a Republican, is in his first term as Mayor of Michigan City, having been elected in 2019.