On Saturday, May 30, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb released a statement regarding the protests and rioting going on across the country in response to the death of George Floyd. Holcomb, knowing the protests would soon come to Indianapolis, pleaded for only peaceful protests and condemned violence, according to WSBT News.
Floyd, an African American man, was detained by police because he was suspected to have tried to pay with a counterfeit bill. This was later determined not to be the case. A video of the incident shows police officers pushing Floyd to the ground. One officer, Derek Chauvin, could be seen pushing his knee into Floyd’s neck until he was unable to breathe. The protests going on around the country are in an attempt to get justice.
While many protests were initially intended to protest police brutality and racism, they have turned violent in many large cities. Holcomb wants to prevent this from happening in Indiana. However, he does not take lightly the topic of racism or of Floyd’s death.
“Hoosiers have long been people who find solutions to the challenges we face, whether it be in response to a pandemic or to an injustice like the world witnessed so tragically inflicted upon Mr. George Floyd in Minnesota. As I stated yesterday, injuring the innocent in response to an injustice is counterproductive. I’ve asked the Indiana State Police to fully support and make resources available to local communities across our state to ensure our citizens and their property remain safe.”
The state of Indiana revealed that it would make accommodations for those who chose to peacefully protest by blocking off streets. However, Holcomb emphasized that he will not tolerate criminal activity during the protests and demonstrations.
“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,” he concluded his message.
Not everyone heeded the message. As WTHR reported, on Saturday evening hundreds of protestors flocked to downtown Indianapolis. While the protest started out peacefully, it ended in chaos. Dumpsters were set on fire and the crowds were teargassed by police. Some businesses were damaged. The Indianapolis Police Department has ordered everyone to leave the area or face possible arrest.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Chauvin has been arrested and charged with murder in the third degree in relation to this case. He could potentially face 10-11 years in prison if he is, in fact, convicted. The other officers involved in the incident have not yet been arrested.