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Prosecutor: 25 people now charged in connection with recent protests, riots and looting

Defense attorneys disagree with police version of events
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Posted at 2:28 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 14:28:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County prosecutors have charged now charged a total of 25 people in connection with recent protests, riots and looting.

Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ office reviewed 102 cases of people who were arrested, but ultimately did not file criminal charges, according to MCPO spokesperson Michael Leffler.

The prosecutor’s office released a list of 7 more people, nearly all from Indianapolis, who were criminally charged in connection with alleged looting and rioting:

  • Aaron Hawkins - Indianapolis, burglary and theft
  • Matthew Olmstead - Bargersville, burglary and theft
  • Brock Burnell- Indianapolis, rioting, carrying a handgun w/o a license, and disorderly conduct: engages in fighting/tumultuous conduct
  • Jesse Baker- Indianapolis, rioting, and disorderly conduct: engages in fighting/tumultuous conduct
  • Avondre Gavia- Indianapolis, carrying a handgun w/o a license, resisting law enforcement
  • David James- Indianapolis, disorderly conduct: engages in fighting/tumultuous conduct
  • Deion Gray- Indianapolis, battery against a public safety official, resisting law enforcement w/ a deadly weapon

Aaron Hawkins and Matthew Olmstead are accused of breaking into the Tin Roof, a bar in downtown Indianapolis on N. Pennsylvania, and stealing bottles of alcohol on May 31.

On May 30, IMPD arrested Brock Burnell after they say he was part of a group that shot at and threw rocks at police officers.

Burnell had a semi-auto 9MM on him at the time of his arrest, and had 10 rounds in the magazine with one in the chamber, read court documents.

Attorney Jonathan Little and his firm, Saeed & Little, is representing several suspects from across the state who participated in recent protests including Burnell.

“It’s not illegal to have a handgun in Indiana, and even a concealed one at that,” said Little. “There’s no allegations my client fired a weapon at IMPD. Just being out protesting with a handgun is perfectly legal.”

Little expressed concern about police brutality and the use of tear gas on its own citizens.

“I think this is why many of us went to law school,” said Little. “Right now the fundamental rights of the United States are at stake. Is this going to be a country that crushes dissent with violence and government-sponsored slaughter with 5,000 people were killed by the police in 2019.”

PREVIOUS | 12 charged in connection with looting

Jesse Baker is accused of instigating the crowd on May 29 to damage property and throw rocks at police officers.

Avondre Gavia’s charges stem from a May 31 incident in which police said he was found with a female juvenile who had a backpack with a gun and stolen merchandise from downtown businesses inside.

While conducting a search on the juvenile, Gavia got physical with officers and attempted to run away, court documents allege.

Gavia told officers the gun was his, records show.

David James’ charges stem from allegedly throwing items at windows around the circle downtown on May 30 and refused to stop.

“My client denies the entire report that was written by the police,” said James’ attorney Matthew Draving. “I am taking his case pro bono. Hopefully, his case is dismissed by the end of next week.”

Draving said James denies the allegations.

“It didn’t happen,” said Draving. “His side of the story is completely different. It would be nice to have evidence to shed light into what really happened, but we have one arresting officer.”

PREVIOUS | Five more charged following recent clashes with police

Deion Gray is accused of swinging at an IMPD officer on May 31, causing the officer to fall back into a light pole and then swinging “closed fist punches” at officers.

RTV6 is working to get responses from other suspects’ attorneys listed in court documents.