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Gov. Eric Holcomb responds to protests across Indiana

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 22:06:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Change will happen, that is the message from Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The governor wants people at protests across Indiana to know he sees them, he hears them and he is encouraged by those spreading their message in a peaceful way.

"I think there's going to be, I know there is going to be progress made because not only do folks have our attention, we agree with them," Holcomb said.

Hundreds of demonstrators made their way up to the Governor's Residence this week and it ended with officers and protesters exchanging hugs, handshakes and with some police officers walking with protesters back toward downtown Indianapolis.

It was a much different scene that just days before when protests turned violent and destructive downtown. As the protests and violence spread locally, similar scenes were unfolding across the country.

According to ABC News, President Donald Trump called on governors across the nation to take a more aggressive approach to these protests saying they need to "dominate the streets," telling governors to call on the National Guard for help and saying they should take a military-type approach.

"My approach will continue to be one that seeks to bridge divides and to calm the streets and to support peaceful demonstrations and expressions," Holcomb said. "This is their First Amendment right."

Holcomb said he hopes what happened Monday near his residence is a sign of what is to come.

"That showed me that the peaceful demonstration could prevail and it should persist quite frankly until results are shown," Holcomb said.

State leaders also addressed COVID-19 concerns with these protests saying they are encouraged to see many people wearing masks and said they don't anticipate a major spike in hospitalizations as many at these demonstrations are young and not in the at-risk category for complications.