INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis’ mayor extended an overnight curfew into a second night Monday following violent weekend protests over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans that left behind widespread damage, including shattered downtown storefronts in Indiana’s capital.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, meanwhile, said the state National Guard would remain on duty to help protect local communities from violence that he said “has taken on a tone of organized crime.”
Holcomb said it was a “noble” cause for protesters to gather to exercise their First Amendment right by decrying Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody. But he said “troublemakers” had no right “to destroy, vandalize or threaten another Hoosiers’ safety or property.”
The governor said members of the Indiana National Guard would remain on standby for now to assist local communities, including Indianapolis, from the threat of more violence and would move them and other resources as needed to any “flash points” of violence that may erupt.
“We’re taking it day by day and processing intelligence as it comes in. And we will move the required resources to the places where it’s needed,” Holcomb said during a Statehouse news conference. “This unprecedented scale of threat and violence toward businesses and people is something that has drawn us to this position.”
Indiana State Police have deployed hundreds of state troopers around the state, to Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Evansville, Hobart and other cities “to help them with civil unrest,” said Doug Carter, the agency’s superintendent.
Another crowd of protesters gathered in downtown Indianapolis for the fourth straight day Monday afternoon for another protest over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody - a death that has sparked protests nationwide. The protesters moved from downtown to the Indiana governor’s mansion later Monday, where they were met by police and ordered to disperse. At one point, officers agreed to walk with protesters back toward downtown.
Floyd died last weekend after a white officer used his knee to pin the handcuffed black man’s neck down for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving.
Large protests happened elsewhere in Indiana on Saturday, with police in Hammond using tear gas to break up protesters and officers blocking marchers from going onto Interstate 80/94. Fort Wayne police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse a crowd after some protesters threw rocks at officers and broke dozens of windows in downtown Fort Wayne businesses.
Indianapolis police arrested 115 between Friday night and early Monday, with most of those arrests coming during the violence early Saturday and early Sunday, said Officer William Young, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
He said some people were arrested for violating the curfew Mayor Joe Hogsett had imposed from Sunday night through Monday morning to quell violence, but that number was not immediately available. Overnight Sunday into Monday was “relatively quiet” in the city, Young said, after eekend protests during that saw demonstrators break dozens of windows on downtown businesses and set fires.
Hogsett announced Monday that he was extending the city’s curfew order for an additional night. His new order will begin at 8 p.m. Monday and will end at 4 a.m. Tuesday - two hours earlier than the mayor’s first order - because Tuesday is Indiana’s primary election, with voting starting at 6 a.m. Hogsett’s order also includes an exception allowing people to travel during the curfew period for “election-related activities.”
The mayor said in a statement that he was “proud of our residents, the vast majority of whom abided by Sunday night’s curfew order.”
“My thanks go out to the men and women who helped keep Indianapolis peaceful overnight,” Hogsett said.
Two people died amid several shootings late Saturday and early Sunday in Indianapolis, though it wasn’t clear their deaths were related to the protests. Police said no officers had fired their guns.
One of those fatally shot was Chris Beaty, who was a defensive lineman on Indiana University’s football team from 2000 to 2004 and has recently managed Indianapolis nightclubs, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Beaty, 38, suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a shooting Saturday night a few blocks from downtown Indianapolis’ Monument Circle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Young said the circumstances of Beaty’s fatal shooting remained under investigation.
Indiana University football coach Tom Allen said in statement Monday that he was stunned by Beaty’s death and heartbroken for his family.
“I am at a loss for words. The news of the passing of Chris Beaty is just devastating. Since I returned home to coach at Indiana, Chris embraced me, encouraged me and supported me!” Allen said. “His passion for life and Indiana Football energized me every time we were together.”
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