FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing “thousands of hours” of video of protests in downtown Fort Wayne late May as it considers criminal cases against protesters who were arrested, amid widespread calls for charges to be dropped.
In a Monday morning news conference, Prosecutor Karen Richards said she is treating the 108 misdemeanor cases and other felony cases that came out of May 29 and May 30 protests as she does with any other criminal case – with a thorough review. She said she will not make a “knee-jerk” decision on any.
Richards said she has tasked two employees with reviewing thousands of hours of video from local police, the public, and the media. She will review actions against both protesters and police.
It was during those first two nights of protests in downtown Fort Wayne when 99 people were arrested after peaceful demonstrations turned violent and destructive. Most were arrested on misdemeanor charges of Disorderly Conduct, Rioting and Failure to Leave an Emergency Area.
Since, protests have been held daily, but have remained mostly peaceful. Police and protesters have marched together, and held talks to find common ground.
A sticking point: protesters have called for Richards to drop charges against the protesters who were arrested.
Protests in downtown Fort Wayne have entered their third week.