FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Protests in downtown Fort Wayne Friday and Saturday sent nearly 100 people to jail and several to the hospital, police said.
The Fort Wayne Police Department said Sunday that after violent and destructive protests both Friday and Saturday, 99 people were arrested (29 on Friday and 70 on Saturday, including two juveniles). After two officers and “a few citizens” were injured Friday, the department said one officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries during Saturday’s protest, and an untold number of protesters were hurt, inducing one seriously.
Saturday’s protest stretched from early afternoon to early morning Sunday, police said.
Fort Wayne Police issued the following statement about Saturday’s protest:
Today’s protest occurred just outside the Allen County Court House. The protest started at 2pm this afternoon. Initially the protest was peaceful and orderly. Just after 5pm the protest began to become more and more disorderly. A few people began entering the street walking up and down Clinton in front of the courthouse; some were banging on passing cars. At times more and more people entered the street. At one point the crowd rushed the streets creating a difficulty with traffic flow. At one point Clinton was down to one lane. 10 Point Coalition was able to help move some cars but then became overwhelmed with the crowds. A truck in the street was swarmed and the crowd began surrounding it. Several people appeared to be banging on it and it created a panic moment with the driver speeding off almost hitting people. At that point Fort Wayne Police went into the street. They started to give orders to disperse and were met with projectiles from the crowd. The crowd refused to disperse.
The officers then began to introduce gas to the area. The crowd began to dispersed. The crowd then made its way to the Martin Luther King Bridge where they staged a sit in and some people began climbing to the top of the bridge. Officers allowed the protesters this area to protest. They then left that area went east on Fourth St and came back up Spy Run. They made their way to Berry St where they confronted County Officers and began assaulting them with rocks, bottles and other projectiles. At this point officers were deployed strategically to areas and began using tear gas to disperse the crowds. Several hot spots were targeted and the crowds dissipated greatly with those efforts.
There was one officer hurt last evening and he was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. There were reports of injuries to protestors one was serious but non-life-threatening. He was transported to a local hospital. There were over 60 arrests made by all officers yesterday. Most of them were for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Leave an Emergency Area and Rioting.
Officers working the protests worked all day and into the late evening/early morning.
Protesting resumed Sunday in downtown Fort Wayne.