INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Sunday that he is signing an executive order implementing a curfew in Marion County from 8 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday.
The mayor made the announcement during a press conference with IMPD Chief Randal Taylor regarding the past two nights of protesting in the city.
During the news conference, Hogsett said the curfew will be enforced by the authorities, with exceptions made for those traveling to and from work, seeking medical care, or fleeing from dangerous circumstances; law enforcement; members of the news media; federal, state, or local public officials conducting necessary work; and individuals experiencing homelessness.
The curfew is in response to the violence that erupted in the city Saturday night after peaceful protests during the daytime.
“Rocks and other projectiles were thrown, businesses were vandalized and looted, government buildings were targeted, fires were repeatedly set with the intention of doing harm,” said Hogsett. “Guns were pulled and deadly violence was directed with wanton disregard for other civilians.
“It is clear after last night that we can no longer provide the protection of those protestors or our downtown residents and business owners when an unfortunate few are so determined to hijack this movement for their own selfish reasons,” he said.
“That is why this morning I will sign an executive order instituting a countywide curfew and red travel orders that will take effect at 8 p.m this evening and last through 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. Under this order all residents are required to be home by 8 p.m. and to stay home for their own safety.”
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced the following Interstate ramps into downtown Indianapolis will be closed:
- I-70 WB to Fletcher/Ohio/Michigan
- I-65 SB to Fletcher/Ohio/Michigan
- I-65 NB to Washington St
- I-65 NB/SB to MLK
Additionally, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that he had directed the Indiana National Guard to coordinate with the Indiana State Police in securing state properties in downtown Indianapolis.
Some graffiti was sprayed on the pedestals of statues facing east from the Statehouse.
The Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Monument, the site of several rallies recently, was also tagged with the names of persons who recently died in police action shootings both in Indiana and nationally.
Saturday’s rally was attended by more than a thousand people who marched peacefully from the Indiana War Memorial to the Circle in a call for an end to perceived racial injustice at the hands of law enforcement and concluded before 7 p.m. per an agreement with the mayor’s office.
IMPD reported that 29 people were arrested overnight. Two people were killed in shootings overnight as well, one of which happened near the intersection of North Pennsylvania and East Market Street and the other in the 3700 block of Orchard Avenue, on Indy’s near northeast side.
Earlier in the evening, IMPD officers in dressed in tactical gear responded to Market Street outside the City-County Building after a protester broke a first-floor window.
“We observed individuals loading rocks and other objects into backpacks. There were individuals who were carrying shields and other implements to protect themselves from any law enforcement tactics we may have to employ,” said IMPD Deputy Chief Josh Barker. “We observed an unsettling number of individuals armed with various types of long guns, shotguns, handguns and the like.”
FOX59 watched as protest organizers attempted to regain control of the demonstration after the window was broken, moving the crowd away from the front of the CCB, pointing to the east and the nearby Whole Foods at Market and Alabama Streets.
The mood of crowd changed and became more confrontational as Barker said rocks, frozen water bottles and other projectiles were launched at police.
“Our intention in the very beginning was to create a buffer or an area of deniability, if you will, to get those rioters back away from the building to prevent additional damage to the City-County Building and keep them from entering that building with an overwhelming number,” said Barker, recounting how his police move toward the crowd. “They immediately started getting rocks thrown at the officers. Rioters in the crowd had firecrackers and other incendiary type devices that they were lighting on fire and throwing at our officers. They then began to damage some of the police vehicles that had pulled up in the periphery.
“It was not until that point several hours into this successful protest that IMPD initially used pepper ball and chemical agents to begin to disperse that crowd that had gathered in front of the City-County Building.”
FOX59 News observed several protesters placed under arrest outside the Whole Foods store and spotted tear gas clouds rising in the vicinity of 251 East Ohio Street near the offices of the Marion County Prosecutor where first floor windows were broken.
IMPD Chief Randy Taylor was asked if groups like Antifa, which President Trump said he would designate as a terrorist group, were involved in the organizing the riots.
“Obviously I know that there were people in the crowds that were not from the Indianapolis area,” said Taylor. “I don’t know if that particular group was involved. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was confirmed but we do know that there were people here specifically to cause chaos and trouble.”
“In the chaos that ensued, significant damage was done to our downtown. Once more we awake to a morning defined by unproductive destruction.”
The mayor’s office stated that violation of the curfew order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fines worth up to $10,000.
“This policy is not intended to punish our residents – it is intended to protect them,” said Hogsett. “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. And just as with yesterday, we will continue to work with event organizers to ensure they have a venue to deliver their non-violent message without interference.”