COLUMBIA — The doctor who brought Adam Taylor into the world and the officer who filed the report for the incident in which he could have left it, both showed their support for Taylor and downtown cameras at a Keep Columbia Safe rally.
Former mayors and council members gathered at Bambino's Italian Cafe in support of Proposition 1, which would authorize the police chief to place video cameras downtown.
Keep Columbia Safe is a grassroots public safety organization founded by Taylor's mother, Karen Taylor. He was assaulted last year in the parking garage on Tenth and Cherry streets, and the incident was caught on camera.
Former Sixth Ward Councilman Brian Ash, who owns Bambino's, hosted the event. About 60 people filled the small restaurant.
Attendees spoke passionately about downtown cameras. Among those were:
- Former Fifth Ward Councilman John John, who, like many others there, wore a white "Keep Columbia Safe" tag. He said he would have supported the initiative when he was in office. "It is imperative on a city to have a viable core, and if people don't feel safe, then they will flee downtown and then businesses will flee downtown," John said.
- Axie Hindman, who represented her husband, Mayor Darwin Hindman. She said feeling safe is important to the community. "He has supported this issue from the beginning," Axie Hindman said to enthusiastic applause.
- Columbia firefighter Ryan Adams, sporting a "Fire Fighters for (Bob) McDavid" T-shirt. "It's in the best interest of the public," Adams said. "There's no real downside to it that I can see."
- Former Circuit Court Judge Ellen Roper. "I was a trial judge for 31 years and I've seen what people do when they're not on camera," Roper said.
- Columbia Police Officer Jill Wieneke, director of community relations for the Columbia Police Officers Association. She was also the officer who took the report when Adam Taylor was assaulted. "If we can stop one thing like this from happening, in our minds that's a win," Wieneke said.
Adam Taylor thanked those in attendance.
Also in attendance:
- Former mayors Mary Anne McCollum, Bob Pugh and Bob Smith, as well as Lynda Baumgartner, who represented her father, former Mayor Rodney Smith
- Former council members Phil Hanson, Sharon Lynch, Larry Schuster, Jim Loveless and Dick Walls, and current Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill
- Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey
- Mayoral candidate Bob McDavid, the doctor who delivered Adam Taylor
- City council candidates Daryl Dudley, Gary Kespohl and Sarah Read attended, though Read said she neither endorses nor opposes the proposition
- The Missouri Student Association and CrimeStoppers, who also endorse the initiative