Daylight reveals widespread destruction downtown

The core of downtown was in shambles Sunday morning, with graffiti and shards of glass everywhere, following an unprecedented night of violence in Indianapolis.

What began as a peaceful protest devolved late Saturday night into violence and what a police official described as riots. When the turmoil finally subsided early Sunday, three people had been shot, with one dead, first-floor glass had been knocked out of dozens of buildings, and angry graffiti messages were sprayed across the Mile Square.

“Downtown is being destroyed,” Patrick Tamm, president of the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association, told IBJ in a text message early Sunday.

It was the second night in a row that protests over the death of George Floyd of Minnesota and broader issues of inequality for African Americans spurred protests downtown that turned violent. While Friday night’s vandalism rocked downtown, Saturday’s proved to be even worse.

Click to see a gallery of photos. Damage on Illinois Street included windows broken out at Mikado, a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. (IBJ photo/Greg Andrews)

Angry protesters set ablaze the CVS at 175 N. Illinois St. and started numerous dumpster fires across downtown. Their graffiti messages included “Justice for Floyd,” “Stop cops,” “No more silence” and “Stop killing us.”

Police reported 29 arrests of protesters late Saturday until about 4 a.m. Sunday after 27 were arrested the night before.

Sustaining damage were properties as far north as the Indianapolis Athletic Club Condos, 350 N. Meridian St., and as far south as the Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 126 W. Georgia St., where a worker was struggling to remove graffiti from a brick wall Sunday as families arrived for the 9 a.m. service.

Especially hard hit was Salesforce Tower, 1 E. Ohio St., where vandals knocked out glass along the north and east sides of the building, leaving exposed Salesforce’s employee lounge and the Yolk restaurant.

Also sustaining extensive damage were buildings on both sides of Pennsylvania Street between Ohio and Washington streets, including the Huntington Bank branch and National Bank of Indianapolis headquarters, both at the intersection of Washington and Market streets. Also, the Five Guys restaurant at 48 E. Washington St. had almost all its windows knocked out and sustained looting after workers were sent home early at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Also hard hit were properties along the south side of Ohio Street between Pennsylvania and Delaware streets, all of which were boarded up Sunday, with glass shards in the street and graffiti messages sprayed onto buildings and on plywood.

Meanwhile, Regions Tower, on the north side of Ohio Street, did not appear to sustain any significant damage.

Brad Stout, owner of Stout’s Footwear, was surveying damage on Sunday morning. He said the store would reopen soon. (IBJ photo/Greg Andrews)

Most of the damage on Massachusetts Avenue appeared limited to the block between Delaware and Alabama streets. Among the businesses with glass broken out were a Walgreens pharmacy, The Eagle Restaurant and Stout’s Footwear.

Brad Stout, who has owned Stout’s for a quarter-century, moved the store’s macaw to the street on Sunday, as he would on a normal business day.

The store sustained five broken windows, leaving shoes that had been on display covered in shards of glass. But most unsettling was a bullet hole through a door. Stout pointed to the spot where the bullet had ricocheted off a marble stair on the other side.

“We’ll be out of business a day or two, but we’ll be back,” Stout said, as others nearby swept up glass in front of his business.

“These people who are cleaning up, they’re just neighbors,” Stout said, his voice cracking. “It’s awfully nice.”

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23 thoughts on “Daylight reveals widespread destruction downtown

  1. For the masses we pay attention if the protest goes without damaging, tagging walls, etc.. After seeing this post protest, their typical perscription will again not work.

  2. No one pays attention to the many peaceful protests. They normally don’t even get headlines, or they just get treated like Colin Kaepernick. The systematic racism is much more important than some property damage.

    1. Charles T: “more important than some property damage”? How callous. Would you be saying this if it was your store/business? This isn’t just property damage, this is people’s lives. Imagine just coming out of 3 months of being shut down by COVID 19 where your business has just been destroyed by something completely out of your control. Not because you were a poor business but because of a random virus. You have exhausted your savings and you are barely holding on. And imagine, now you are finally able to open your business back up just 4 days ago and now this. Someone physically destroys your business that you have worked your ass off for 30-40 years. Is that justice? You cannot seek justice through an injustice. You are creating hypocrisy, not justice.

      What happened to George Floyd is heinous. Disgusting. Makes me sick. But then what happened to George Floyds’ community after with the protests that turned into riots is pitiful. The man is in Heaven looking down with tremendous sadness. What do you think George Floyd would be saying? I can just hear him, “this is how I will be remembered?” If you want to mourn George Floyd, we definitely should, without a doubt. But if we want to “honor” George Floyd, well this is NOT the way. I think we can do better!!

    2. When the cost of doing business is higher than the profits, it closes. Retail and restaurants just re-open after 2months closed and no income as well as many jobs lost. I predict many will chose to close permanently. As they close the tax dollars go with them. When there are less tax dollars there are fewer services from healthcare to parks maintenance, to repairing damage. So though they want others to suffer like them it ethinds up affecting the people who use these services the most. The job losses will then affect them from the lowest wage earner to the top earner. My store at 86th and Zionsville was shot into around 6:30am yesterday. Lots of glass broken. I am more concerned with the fear that causes more divide not repair or understanding,

  3. Why don’t we do peaceful virtual handholding or in-person support for Mr. Floyd and his Family? That way all races that support Mr. Floyd will out weight all the hate. I have not heard one person on TV or in the papers say what happened to Mr. Floyd was awful and should never happen again. This is something we all agree on, I hope. Remember Mr. Floyd’s family is calling for non-violence protest. #UniteForGeorgeFloyd

  4. Note to everyone, especially those posting BLM. This is not about criminal behavior by some cops in Minneapolis Minnesota nor is it about the murder of George Floyd. This is all about some very evil forces imposing their wills on the peaceful populations of Democrat run cities. They know where there is weakness and have sought to exploit this situation.
    The Mayors of these cities and the Mayor of this city to do their jobs.

  5. The answer to this problem is simple. All American mayors need to draft a work agreement that strips police officers of their qualified immunity and have them agree not to use deadly force unless threatened. And if they do kill, and deemed that they were not threatened—they will be immediately fired and charged accordingly. Have all police officers sign the document or be FIRED—and join the 40 million+ unemployed. All big-city American mayors CAN do this NOW. That would make people stop rioting and be lasting change so that this situation never happens again. The transparent use of a simple work agreement is the solution to police brutality in America.

  6. I’m sure all those complaining that people aren’t protesting correctly were big supporters of Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful kneeling. On second thought, I’d bet they were all triggered like Mike Pence when he spent tax payer dollars to fly in for a Colts game just to walk out when players didn’t protest correctly during the national anthem.

    1. I was. So remember in Nov when you NOTE that 45 and VP Pence made it into something it wasn’t and the lively hood of the very ones who wanted to kneel could not chance loosing their jobs.

  7. Agree with the protest. By-the-way, all protest are peaceful. A protest becomes a riot when destruction begins. Praying that this type of nonsense doesn’t come to the suburbs. A person will start shooting when his/her family and/or property is under attack. Neither is true to justify the riot.

    Mayor Hogsett and the city-council are displaying true cowardice. Protect protesters, arrest vandals.

    1. There were 27 arrests on Friday, approximately 30 arrests on Saturday, and there have been over a dozen arrests on Sunday. The vast majority of the protestors have been just that, peaceful protestors. There are a relatively small number of rioters, of which some are simple looters and others anarchists and fascists intentionally bent on causing chaos and destruction to further their political ideologies. Please describe specifically how the Mayor and the City-County Council are displaying “cowardice?” Because they aren’t advocating for a fascist Bull Connor style fire-hosing down of peaceful protestors? The police have been out in force and they have been arresting people breaking the law. Your outrage should be focused on the actual people breaking the law, including the group of racist murder officers who killed George Floyd.

    2. Christopher B – fire hosing them is exactly what should have been done, followed by shooting looters with rubber bullets, then if that doesn’t work, the real thing. If looters know they are going to be shot, they aren’t going to loot. That would put an end to this out of control nonsense. Tough to do, so that’s why we need to elect real leaders with guts, not candy asses like Hogsett. If these people want to protest there plenty of places for them to go, just not our streets.

  8. Just a couple facts to consider: George Floyd did not die from being restrained. The autopsy said heart disease and toxicology. He was arrested for passing a fake $20 bill to a small business and for public intoxication, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and resisting arrest. He put himself in this situation.
    Yes, the officers handled it wrong, but let’s not think this was some angel hunted down and choked.

    1. So all alleged criminals should be murdered immediately then? That seems to be what you are proposing by saying “He put himself in this situation.” Is that really what you mean? Or maybe it’s just ok if black criminals are killed without trial?

    2. Bernard – thanks for making that point. We don’t hear enough about the circumstances behind George Floyd’s death.

    3. Benard L ~ WOW! thanks for the most ignorant statement I have read on IBJ… you are part of the problem, not the solution. good day sir.

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