Peaceful protests in Indiana met with police violence
Peaceful protesters gather in Indianapolis. | Jason Jones/PW

INDIANAPOLIS – On Saturday and Sunday, Black Lives Matter held peaceful protests in downtown Indianapolis in response to the extrajudicial murders of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as Dreasjon Reed, 21, in Indianapolis.

Some 1,000 demonstrated at the Indiana War Memorial, about two blocks north of Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday demanding justice for African Americans across the country slain at the hands of police.

The protests continued from about 2:30 in the afternoon until early Sunday morning and then began again Sunday afternoon.

George Floyd’s murder on May 25 by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was captured on video and spread widely on social media.

The murder served as a call for collective action nationwide and sparked protests in Indianapolis as this city has been dealing with the police shooting of Dreasjon Reed on May 6.

Reed was shot at least 12 times by police after being tazed. The incident was livecast on Reed’s Facebook page.

After Reed was shot, a detective with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department whose name has not been released, made a comment that “I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie.”

Also on May 6, Ashlynn Lisby, 23, was run over by 22-year veteran police officer Jonathon Henderson. Lisby was pregnant at the time and both she and her unborn child were later pronounced dead. The same day that Reed and Lisby died, a third person, McHale Rose, 19, was shot and killed by police, marking three deaths at the hands of IMPD officers in less than 24 hours.

Hundreds of peaceful marchers on Saturday evening went to the City-County Building and carried signs saying “Black Lives Matter,” and chanted “I Can’t Breathe” when police began firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd.

On Sunday, community members once again converged on the Indiana War Memorial grounds to continue the demand for justice but were met with tear gas and rubber bullets around 6 p.m., two hours before the 8 p.m. curfew.

While militarized police units began their assault without any provocation, Indiana National Guard units arrived at the location and began deployment.

Indianapolis remains under an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.


Jason Jones
Jason Jones

Jason Jones is a social worker writing about Indiana. One of his favorite quotes is “I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." -Antonio Gramsci. Jones is a fan of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Beisbol Cubano.