INDIANAPOLIS — Several thousands of people have descended on the streets of downtown Indianapolis in the past ten days to protest against police brutality. Arguably the most impactful dayof protests yet was held on Saturday, May 6.
The second weekend of protests was much more settle than the first weekend, with little to no looting or destruction at any point. In fact, the last reported instance of damage due to rioting was on Sunday.
The "Black Women in Charge" group planned a sit-in on the south lawn of the Indiana State Capitol Building Saturday.
For over two hours, Hoosiers sat and listened to leaders speak, shout chants for justice, and raised their fists in solidarity to fight racial inequality.
Demonstrators called for justice in the recent deaths of Minneapolis' George Floyd, Louisville's Breonna Taylor, and Indy's Dreasjon Reed, and many other black people killed by police in years past.
The crowd sang happy birthday for Taylor, who would've turned 27 on Friday. The officers involved in her death have yet to be named or charged.
Saturday's crowd also called for the names of the officers involved in Reed's shooting death to be released and also honored Floyd's life with a moment of silence.
Before the reposeful demonstration ended, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Congressman Andre Carson spoke to the crowd to make promises of change and equality.
Thereafter, the Black Women in Charge group didn't let the mayor forget that they still have demands that have yet to be met and won't stop until they are.
After the sit-in, folks dispersed to register to vote or continue protesting throughout the city. Protesters marched for about five more hours, taking over prominent downtown streets, such as Massachusetts Avenue, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Market Streets.
The road demonstrators stood, knelt and grabbed arm-in-arm at for the longest, perhaps, was Vermont Street — the road that holds the mural of Chris Beaty.
Beaty lost his life after being shot a week ago, on Saturday, May 30, during the second night of Indianapolis protests. He was an eminent figure to not only the Indianapolis community but the entire state.
Powerful moment right now on Vermont Street, near Mass Ave. Protesters are continuing to honor Chris Beaty and the legacy he left behind. pic.twitter.com/T11TMHUDvo— Shakkira Harris (@shakkirasays) June 7, 2020
The days leading up to the ninth consecutive day of protests were also just as peaceful and brought together hundreds.
Protesters gathered at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Northwest District headquarters on Friday afternoon and protested into the evening, past curfew.
Several other Hoosier cities have taken to their own streets in protest since the killing of Floyd — the 46-year-old who died after a police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he said, “I can’t breathe.” The cities include Noblesville, Fishers, Carmel, Martinsville and Bloomington.
READ | Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says no additional curfews planned | Black Lives Matter murals decorate downtown Indianapolis |Indy Pride announces it will no longer involve police departments in future festivals |