What started as a mostly peaceful anti-Donald Trump protest at the State House in downtown Indianapolis ended with the police dispersing the crowd Saturday evening. Seven people were arrested and two Indianapolis police officers were hurt.
Chief Troy Riggs said in a news conference that most of the people peacefully exercised their 1st Amendment rights. But, two groups broke off from the main crowd when the protest moved to Monument Circle. One of those groups threatened violence toward the police and eventually started throwing objects at officers.
Two cops were hurt. Riggs said those injuries were minor.
“They have a right to protest and we supported that right to protest, even though numerous ordinances and numerous laws were broken tonight with that protesting, blocking traffic, making it difficult for individuals to maneuver in the streets,” said Riggs.
He said arrests did not happen until threats were made against police officers and some people made good on those threats.
“We do have a reports that some of the protesters showed up with backpacks full of rocks.”
He said if you have any video of that or info on that, to call police.
Major Richard Riddle, with IMPD said that the area where violence against the police officers happened was near Washington and Illinois streets.
“This group then began to chant and make threats directly at our officers. Threats such as ‘kill the police’, trying to instigate this particular crowd to violence against our officers. At this point it was decided that the actual instigators were going to be placed under arrest,” said Riddle.
Three out of the seven people arrested were from out of town, said Riggs. He did not know exactly where they were from, but said that information would be provided later.
Riggs noted that local organizers of the original protest meant for it to be peaceful.
Here is audio from news conference with Chief Riggs and Major Riddle. We also spoke to some of the protesters. Warning, the Leon-Tailored Audio with the protesters includes a lot of the f-word.