Hogsett imposes curfew beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday

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Indianapolis police fired tear gas and apprehended suspects after a large crowd tried to break into the City-County Building. (IBJ photo/Mickey Shuey)

After a night of wide-scale destruction downtown that followed an afternoon of peaceful protests, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said Sunday morning that he would establish a curfew that starts at 8 p.m.

“These actions are necessary but they break my heart,” Hogsett said on a live-streamed press conference.

However, Hogsett said he didn’t see a need to deploy the National Guard in Indianapolis. The governors of at least 12 states have called up National Guard troops to help quell protests, but Gov. Eric Holcomb has so far been mum on the possibility of doing so in Indiana.

Under the curfew announced by Hogsett that covers Marion County, most residents will be required to stay home beginning at 8 p.m. and stay there until 6 a.m. Exceptions will be made for people traveling to and from work, for medical treatment or to aid family members.

Public safety workers and journalists also will be exempt. Law enforcement will be prepared to enforce the orders, and individuals who don’t adhere to the curfew will be subject to arrest and fines up to $10,000.

Click image to see the full text of the curfew order from Mayor Hogsett.

Hogsett said he expected more protests in the city on Sunday and urged participants to be off the streets by 8 p.m. But he emphasized that he encouraged residents to otherwise organize peacefully and lawfully demonstrate.

“Indianapolis, city government and your police department will continue to do all we can to provide safe passage for messages of peaceful protest,” he said. “But 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, for their own selfish purposes.”

The mayor and officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department took pains to praise thousands of people who marched through downtown in late afternoon and early evening, protesting the death last week of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, as well as other recent instances of police violence.

But 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 two dead, first-floor glass had been knocked out of dozens of buildings, and angry graffiti messages were sprayed across the Mile Square. Altogether, 29 people were arrested, after 27 were arrested the night before.

IMPD Deputy Chief Josh Barker said yesterday afternoon’s protest was one of the most “positive experiences” IMPD has been able to take part in.

It wasn’t until the large group splintered into two, with one heading to the City-County Building—where the mayor’s office and IMPD headquarters are located—that things turned violent.

Barker said IMPD did not engage with protestors until what he called rioters began pounding on the City-County Building to try to break in.

At that point, IMPD deployed tear gas and pepper balls, demanding that participants disperse, saying the assembly was no longer lawful.

More demonstrations ensued across the Mile Square, where injuries were reported and fires ignited.

Barker said it wasn’t until 4 a.m. that IMPD felt order had been restored to a comfortable level. At no point did IMPD officers discharge a firearm, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said.

Click to see a gallery of photos of damage from Saturday’s vandalism.

“These were not selfless acts of courageous change,” Hogsett said. “There is no just cause furthered by destroying the livelihoods of thousands of families, including black families. … These were selfish acts of people who did not give one moment’s thought how their violence might harm the cause of progress.”

The curfew is just for one night, but Hogsett said he’d be willing to extend it if necessary and that those decisions will be made day by day.

His office is also working with the Marion County Clerk and election board to ensure Tuesday’s primary election remains safe and efficient, he said.

Hogsett said the city is also dedicated to helping businesses that have been destroyed during the past two nights. The Indianapolis Department of Public Works is providing materials and labor to businesses trying to clean up and secure buildings.

In coming days, the city will work with Downtown Indy Inc. and Indy Chamber to identify other ways it can aid businesses that have been impacted by the events.

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22 thoughts on “Hogsett imposes curfew beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday

    1. Because the Mayor is an idiot! Why would or IMPD to stand down while downtown is be decimated. Zero threat of arrest.

    2. Because other areas of town had destruction and looting as well. From what I heard examples are Macys at Castleton with gunshots inside, the Fashion mall, and Super Target by Nora.

    3. Under Unigov, Mayor Hogsett is also the county executive. His orders apply in the excluded cities when he acts in that capacity.

  1. CLANG! Was the sound of the gate being shut after the cows got out? This was no surprise, was it? Yet just now Mayor Hogsett is imposing a curfew. I love the way the media is trying to blame this fiasco on President Trump or more locally Governor Holcomb. Democrats have managed us into this catastrophe and managed after the fact to make it worse. They have screwed up the reaction to the COVID19 situation and now are moving us right into another unprecedented mess.

    1. I’m sorry, what? You think people are rioting because they’re upset with their democratic leadership? I’m sorry sir, you’ve missed the entire point of this exercise.

  2. This is disgusting. The message has been wasted in less than a few hours due to antifa/thugs who only care about anarchy. No “peaceful protestor” shows up with a backpack full of incendiary devices, rocks and milk for their faces. They hide behind masks for a reason. It’s time for all masks to be removed, people to report to work, and anyone who inflicts violence or attacks police be arrested. This who do not respect the hard work of individual business owners, do not get to have their “justice” against peoples’ property. Real leaders carried the Bible like MLK, Jr and preached peace. Want justice? Vote all these “progressives” out. They only want people divided as that’s how they maintain power. Hold meetings with LEO leaders and groups demanding change. That means real accountability.

    1. Sure, but when business owners steal from the tax-payers by the millions they’re “stimulating the economy.” These riots are the most American thing I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Have you heard of this thing called the Boston Tea Party? It was a riot where Americans stole trade goods and destroyed them by dumping them into a harbor. We teach this in public high school because of its importance in our country then and now. This is what real Americans do when the government is out of hand. So please pack up your fake patriotism and don’t speak on matters you’re clearly ignorant on.

  3. Just a friendly reminder that all of the people looting and defacing property are part of the Democratic base and and these are who the party’s politicians think should have their concerns elevated over the rest of us. Your reward for staying out of trouble and paying taxes is being blamed for other people behaving badly.

    1. Feel better blaming others when we all failed here. It is good you live in Hamilton County.

  4. Pothole and his entire staff need to be in the streets enforcing his curfew. That includes Virginia, so she can monitor for health violations

  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.

    1. Police are unionized so it’s much more complicated than you imagine to get this done.

  6. Another meaningless statement from another coward mayor of another Dem controlled city. Pothole Joe is scared of his own shadow. The fact this new curfew encompasses all of Marion County is a joke, just like Joe’s stupid and ill-conceived lockdown extension. Sad, but this is par for the course anymore and the ignorant voters of Indianapolis are paying the price for continuing to keep Dem’s in control.

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