Peaceful protests in Indianapolis met with police violence

Peaceful protests in Indianapolis met with police violence


On Saturday and Sunday, Black Lives Matter (BLM) held peaceful protests in downtown Indianapolis in response to the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as Dreasjon Reed, 21, in Indianapolis. Over a thousand people demonstrated at the Indiana War Memorial, about two blocks north of Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday demanding justice for slain African-Americans across the country 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 a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was captured on video and spread widely on social media. The act served as a call for collective action nationwide and sparked protest in Indianapolis,  as this city has been dealing with the police shooting of Dreasjon Reed on May 6. Reed was shot between 12 and 15 times by police after being tased. The incident was livecast on Reed’s Facebook page. After Reed was shot, a detective with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) whose name has not been released commented, “I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie.”


Also on May 6, Ashlynn Lisby, 23, was run over by a 22-year veteran police officer, Jonathon Henderson, while the officer was driving to work. 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 6:00 p.m. despite a curfew not taking effect until 8:00 p.m. While militarized police units began their assault without any provocation, Indiana National Guard units arrived at the location and began deployment.


Indianapolis remains under a 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew as of June 5.


Jason Jones, Indianapolis. Photos courtesy of Jones.