INDIANAPOLIS — Peaceful protests during the day led to some starting violent riots during the night this weekend in downtown Indianapolis.
The protests in Indianapolis were in response to recent deaths involving police, including the deaths of Dreasjon Reed and George Floyd.
Protesters in Indianapolis say they were standing in solidarity with protests in other cities across the nation and the state, calling for police reform and justice.
Protests started Friday afternoon at Monument Circle and quickly grew. Later in the evening and into the night, some people started breaking glass windows to stores and businesses.
Business owners and downtown residents woke up Saturday morning to survey and start cleaning up the damage. It's not clear at this time how many businesses and buildings were damaged.
On Saturday morning, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor addressed the protesters.
"For long stretches yesterday we saw the best of what our democracy can stand for," Hogsett said during a press conference. "But I am not blind to the fact that last night we also saw the worst manifestation of our own failing as a society."
At least 27 people were arrested, five police cars were damaged, and three officers and three protesters were injured Friday night, Taylor said.
Peaceful protests continued Saturday afternoon and into the evening.
Some business owners had signs in their windows saying they were closing early, though it wasn't clear if this was because of the protests. Some businesses were already boarded up after Friday night, some in preparation for what they were anticipating what was going to happen.
Hundreds gathered throughout the city at times, chanting and holding signs saying "Black Lives Matter," and "Justice for George Floyd."
Just before 9 p.m., police told those gathering it was no longer a peaceful assembly and asked them to disperse. Tear gas was eventually deployed near the City-County Building.
As the night continued, fires were being set inside stores and dumpsters in the street.
As the protests continued to turn into riots, the violence increased downtown.
By Sunday morning, at least two people were killed in shootings downtown and 29 people were arrested.
An 8 p.m. curfew for Marion County was imposed by Hogsett Sunday morning, and IndyGo announced changes and delays to some routes due to the incidents downtown.
“This policy is not intended to punish our residents — it is intended to protect them,” Hogsett said during a press conference Sunday morning. “We also remain committed to protecting the peaceful demonstrations we fully expect will take place today and in the weeks to come. We do not tolerate these acts of protest — we celebrate them."
Around 2 p.m. Sunday, faith leaders in Indiana held a peaceful protest at the Indiana Statehouse. The group eventually went to City Market, across the street from the City-County Building.
They held a "die-in" demonstration while they read the names of those killed by police, and called for Indiana to become a leader in the nation for police reform.
"We are here in front of the City-County Building," one protester said. "The mayor's office is on the 25th floor. We've come with our list of demands for Indiana to lead the nation in police reform. We know that is possible and we are here to say let's get it done."
More people gathered throughout the evening in different parts of downtown. Tear gas and pepper balls were deployed by police to disperse crowds after telling protesters the gatherings had become an unlawful assembly.
As the the curfew came closer to being in effect, police reminded protesters of the curfew through loud speakers and social media.
After 8 p.m., several people were being arrested by police.
Roads and interstate ramps near downtown were blocked by police officers and cars.
Taylor held a press conference shortly after the curfew went into effect. He encouraged people still downtown to get home safely.
Throughout the weekend, city, state, and organization leaders reacted to the protests and incidents in Indianapolis.
"In the days ahead, peaceful assembly and clear voices will be important if we are to make progress," Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement Saturday. "Violence and vandalism will set us back in our shared desire to resolve differences. Let us again, each of us, be part of the solution."
It's unclear how many people were arrested in total over the weekend in downtown Indianapolis, or where they're from, but Taylor says IMPD is gathering the information to be able to release it.
The curfew is expected to be lifted at 6 a.m. Monday in Marion County.
It's unknown at this time if more protests are planned for Monday or the rest of the week.