Howey Politics Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS - The mayors of Fort Wayne and Indianapolis reacted to protests that grew tense and ended in arrests and injuries Friday night. "Our country and community are hurting as a result of the passing of George Floyd. It's a terrible tragedy for our society," Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. "Mr. Floyd's death did not need to happen, and we pray tonight for his family and the many others who've faced injustices. The City of Fort Wayne respects the rights of individuals to participate in peaceful demonstrations. Tonight's demonstration in downtown Fort Wayne began peacefully. As the demonstration moved along, it began to get more aggressive and the safety of the public was being put at risk. The Fort Wayne Police Department ultimately had to respond in a manner to protect the public's safety. It's vital that we come together united as a city that cares about one another and supports each other. Now more than ever we need to respectfully and peacefully engage in productive dialogue and understanding as we grieve together, knowing that we can have better days ahead of us." Some 29 people were arrested Friday, primarily for disorderly conduct, after a 5 p.m. peaceful protest spilled onto Clinton Street within 90 minutes and eventually took over the roadway. By 8 p.m., police in riot gear fired tear gas into the crowd, and by nightfall, windows of downtown business were shattered and property was vandalized.

In Indianapolis, four people, including three IMPD officers were injured when Monument Circle protests turned tense. Police fired tear gas into the crowd at one point. Mayor Joe Hogsett said Saturday, "“Like so many in Indianapolis, I was horrified by the needless killing of George Floyd. I also recognize that the frustration and anger on display over the last few days isn’t new – it has been felt by communities of color for hundreds of years in a country that has far too often fallen short of providing liberty and justice for all."

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Hogsett said of a demonstration planned for Saturday, "After the peaceful protest is concluded, the safest thing people can do is return to their homes." He promises arrests if demonstrators resorted to vandalism and violence.