BLOG: Aftermath of May 30, 2020 protests in Indianapolis

Editor’s note: This live blog was updated throughout the day with updates on the aftermath of the protests and disturbances that occurred on May 30, 2020. The cover photo for this story is from the cleanup that was occurring on May 31 following the protests on May 30. Click here to see our coverage of the May 30 protests.

11:55 p.m. ET:

We have ended our coverage for today. We encourage you to check out Indianapolis media for more updates on what’s happening in Indianapolis.

11:34 p.m. ET:

News organizations are reporting that it is very quiet in Downtown Indianapolis. There are reports of a smash and grab at a Target store location, according to WTHR. There is a report of police widening a perimeter around Castleton Mall, according to WTHR.

9:24 p.m. ET:

Police have begun to make arrests for those who violate the 8 p.m. curfew in Indianapolis according to WTHR and CBS4.

IMPD announced that all traffic coming into the downtown area is now closed because of the curfew.

9:09 p.m. ET:

In a press conference held after 8 p.m. this evening, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor spoke on what will happen over the next several hours as the 8 p.m. curfew has now taken effect in Marion County.

Taylor said that IMPD officers have provided warnings to those in Indianapolis that the curfew will be enforced and will provide those in the city the chance to head home safely. Taylor encouraged crowds to go home as the curfew took effect and those who violate the curfew will be subject to arrest.

“To those people who are downtown I’m asking you, please go home,” Taylor said. “Go home for yourself, go home for your family, go home for your city, go home for your cause. There is nothing you will prove tonight by violating this order. You are endangering yourself and our officers and it isn’t worth it. I know you are angry, you have good reason to be angry, you do not have good reason to be downtown.”

Taylor also said that pepper balls and tear gas have been used tonight. When asked what prompted those situations, Taylor said that like Saturday night, when officers feel that they are placed in danger,“precarious situations” or if criminal activity is seen, pepper balls or tear gas will be deployed. He added that tear gas and pepper balls are not specifically targeted and the gas will move with the wind. 

Taylor said that he knows there are people who were affected by tear gas who felt as though they were not doing anything and that they should not be downtown anyway. He apologizes to those who had any experience with it but there could be something happening feet from them and could affect them.

Taylor could not provide a specific number of officers that are in the downtown area, but he did say that there are more officers tonight than there were Saturday night. He also said that IMPD is working with other agencies.

The Indiana State Police is assisting IMPD again tonight, according to Taylor. He said that IMPD has not requested the National Guard and that he believes the governor has theIndiana National Guard at facilities run by the state.

7:40 p.m. ET:

Tear gas has reportedly been deployed on Monument Circle, according to WIBC.

Indianapolis is less than 30 minutes away from the 8 p.m. curfew that will be in effect until 6 a.m. Monday.

6:40 p.m. ET:

Additional photos from this morning’s cleanup of Downtown Indianapolis, following the protests that took place on Saturday, May 30.

Photo by Jayden Kennett A man sweeps up debris outside the Five Guys restaurant in Downtown Indianapolis on May 31 following Saturday night’s protests that turned violent. Crews were outside Sunday morning cleaning up broken glass and debris that resulted from the unrest.
Photo by Jayden Kennett #GeorgeFloyd is seen spray-painted on two boarded-up windows at the T-Mobile store in Downtown Indianapolis on May 31. Crews were inside Sunday morning cleaning up the debris that resulted from Saturday night’s protests that turned violent.

6:28 p.m. ET:

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced that they will be closing several ramps that lead into Downtown Indianapolis at 8 p.m. earlier this afternoon. The closures are designed to help both the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Indiana State Police enforce the city’s 8 p.m. curfew.

The following ramps will close at 8 p.m. and will reopen at 6 a.m on Monday, according to INDOT.

  • I-70 WB to Fletcher/Ohio/Michigan
  • I-65 SB to Fletcher/Ohio/Michigan
  • I-65 NB to Washington Street
  • I-65 NB/SB to MLK

Indy Parks announced around 4 p.m. this afternoon that all city parks, trails and park spaces will be closed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday due to the 8 p.m. curfew.

Earlier today, Indiana faith leaders held a protest for racial justice in Downtown Indianapolis, which was followed by a march from the Indiana Statehouse to the Indianapolis City-County Council Building, according to WTHR

The Indianapolis Urban League also released a statement about the protests and unrest that has happened in Indy over the past few days. The full text of the statement, which is titled “Riots, the Language of the Unheard,” can be found here.

4:13 p.m. ET:

Photos of this morning’s cleanup from Saturday night’s protests in Downtown Indianapolis.

Photo by Jayden Kennett Firefighters spray the ground outside of the Five Guys restaurant in Downtown Indianapolis on May 31. The crew that was trying to clean up the glass was having a hard time breathing and seeing because of the leftover tear gas on the street from Saturday night’s protests that turned violent.
Photo by Jayden Kennett A man inside of the Winner’s Circle sports pub in Downtown Indianapolis sweeps the sidewalk through a broken door on May 31. Crews were working this morning to clean up broken glass and debris following Saturday night’s protests that turned violent.
Photo by Jayden Kennett A man stands inside the lobby of the Five Guys restaurant in Downtown Indianapolis with a tape measure. Several windows were broken at the restaurant during Saturday night’s protests that turned violent.

2:57 p.m. ET:

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order to lift restrictions on declarations of emergency locally that went into effect at 11:00 a.m. today, according to the press release sent out by his office this afternoon. This order will allow local governments to enact travel restrictions that are more strict than what the state of Indiana has had in place. 

Holcomb also said in the press release that he ordered the Indiana National Guard to establish a presence at state properties in Indianapolis to protect them from any further damage. The Indiana National Guard will be supported by the Indiana State Police.

Holcomb said in the press release that he put these orders into effect because of the damage done to property and to protect citizens after violence broke out during peaceful protests in Indianapolis on May 29 and May 30.

“Organized protests have taken place across the state without incident but the events that have followed, particularly in Indianapolis, have devastated businesses, defaced public monuments that are centuries old, and resulted in loss of life,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb also said in the release that he verbally activated the Indiana National Guard Reactionary Force company to be available for local communities on Saturday, May 30. No deployment had been requested, however. 

He also directed members of the Indiana National Guard to be on standby to assist communities across the state, upon request. Several hundred members of the Indiana National Guard remain on standby, according to the press release.

1:15 p.m. ET:

There will be a county-wide curfew for the city of Indianapolis from 8 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Monday morning, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced at a press conference this morning.

There will also be red travel warnings issued. Violating the curfew could result in arrest and fines of up to $10,000, Hogsett said.

“These actions are necessary, but they break my heart,” Hogsett said.

1:07 p.m. ET:

Protests continued in Indianapolis for a second night on Saturday, May 30 as demonstrators came to Downtown Indianapolis to protest the deaths of Dreasjon Reed in Indianapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky and the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The protests were peaceful up until around sundown, which is when they became violent.

Around the start of the protests, leaders of the demonstrations asked for the protests to remain peaceful and there was a moment of silence for those who had lost their lives from police brutality.

Protesters also said that after 7 p.m., police had orders to disrupt and disperse the crowd and could be arrested. A few hours after the deadline passed, tear gas was deployed at the City-County Building and protestors were being taken into custody.

According to IMPD, they had to disperse a crowd at Market and Alabama streets after projectiles were thrown at officers and after windows were broken at government buildings downtown.

Around 10 p.m., shots were heard near Ohio Street downtown.

According to The Indianapolis Star, at least 30 buildings were damaged in downtown Indy Saturday night. Protesters also broke windows, started fires and sprayed graffiti on buildings.

At 11:20 p.m., the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department announced that downtown was not safe and that residents should avoid the area.

A little more than an hour later, IMPD also announced that they were investigating multiple shootings downtown. None of the shootings involved officers.

According to WISH-TV, IMPD confirmed that three people died as a result of shootings in Indy Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett commented on Twitter about the protests and the subsequent violence around 1:20 a.m. Sunday morning.

Cover Photo by Jayden Kennett

Clarifications: May 31, 2020 at 1:35 p.m. — The byline of this blog has been adjusted to clearly reflect the authors of the updates.

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