INDIANAPOLIS — For the fourth consecutive day, protesters took to the streets of Indianapolis on Monday sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. Unlike previous days, however, Monday's protests culminated in a moment of unity and understanding between police and protesters.
Following earlier demonstrations downtown, protesters on Monday evening for the first time took their message and movement out of downtown — walking 47 blocks north of Monument Circle to near the Governor's Residence on Meridian Street.
As troopers from the Indiana State Police, officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and members of the Indiana National Guard blocked access closer to the Governor's Residence, officers warned protesters of the 8 p.m. curfew ordered for the second consecutive night and told them to disperse. After a tense few moments, however, there were loud cheers as members of the ISP, IMPD and National Guard removed their face shields and helmets and exchanged fist bumps and hugs with protesters.
Eventually, protesters and police walked linked arm-in-arm back toward downtown.
"I've got a lot of mixed emotions right now," Michael, a protester said. "I've got a lot of mixed emotions but I'm happy because I see everybody coming together and that makes me very happy. I see the police officers come, taking their stuff off they make me feel like I'm not a threat which I'm not. And that's good, it's steps, it's baby steps."
Protesters said they wanted to be heard.
"I wanted our message to be heard by the governor himself," another protester said as he walked with an IMPD officer. "I wanted the police to hear our message. The police hear us. We have police who hear us, who want the same justice, same peace that we do."
There were no reports of widespread violence or destruction that impacted the city in previous nights.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement:
At this pivotal moment in our country’s history, it is critical that we preserve the right to have voices of change be heard — and that we listen. Tonight, I was proud to watch a moving example of what that can look like.
We have a long, difficult road ahead if we are to address decades of mistrust and create meaningful change. In joining arms, these peaceful protesters and their police department came together to take a small step forward. It was an inspiring reminder of what makes Indianapolis a special place to call home.
I want to thank the men and women of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, as well as the Indiana State Police, for their continued hard work, as well as the advocacy of those who peacefully and powerfully made their voices heard today.
See the march to the Governor's Residence and the moment of unity here: