FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Day four of protests in downtown Fort Wayne ended Monday night without incident according to the Fort Wayne Police Department.
Demonstrators started gathering in front of the Allen County Courthouse around 2 p.m. and remained peaceful for the rest of the day. They held signs along Clinton Street, chanted, and laid on the ground in solidarity with George Floyd on several occasions.
It came as Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed spoke with WANE 15 about the weekend of protests that left the city on edge.
Chief Reed said that he has good officers and they are here to protect the community. He said he is aware of why people are protesting across the nation, and he said what happened in Minneapolis was horrible and despicable. He and his officers do not support what happened.
Reed was talking about the situation involving George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week.
“We support peaceful protest,” said Reed. “Unfortunately, I believe sometimes other influences take effect and the protest becomes not peaceful.”
Over the weekend, protests started off peaceful, but things took a turn for the worse and property downtown was destroyed and protesters were tear gassed and pepper sprayed in the streets. After days of chaos, Sunday afternoon protesters and police officers had conversations downtown during a peaceful protest.
“The first night we attempted to have some conversations that didn’t work out,” said Reed. “The crowd was very emotional, which I understand. Yesterday some officers were assigned to a traffic detail and they were approached by some of the people there and the conversation took off and it was a good conversation according to the officer, so that was very positive.”
More than 100 people have been arrested during and after protests, but no arrests were made Monday, as everyone dispersed at 11 p.m. when announcements were made that the courthouse park was closing.
The Fort Wayne Police Department said it is grateful for everyone who participated in Monday’s protests in a cooperative and peaceful way.