Tensions rise as demonstrators, driver clash during Black Lives Matter protest in Bloomington

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A Black Lives Matter protest touched off a standoff between protesters and drivers Monday night in Bloomington.

The protesters blocked the streets at the intersection of Third and Lincoln streets for about a half-hour.

Video from the protest showed a clash between a driver and demonstrators. Protesters asked the driver—some more demonstrably than others—to turn around in respect for their protest.

The driver honked the horn and then tried to drive slowly through the crowd, escalating tensions during the incident.

4 Fast Facts

  • Students block road during Black Lives Matter protest in Bloomington
  • Video shows confrontation between students and driver
  • SUV tries to force its way through crowd
  • Hundreds of students attended the protest

The protesters voiced their concerns about several issues, including their dissatisfaction into the investigation of the death of IU student Joseph Smedley. Police ruled his drowning a suicide and said foul play wasn’t suspected.

The students also wanted to bring attention to the killing of black men and women in police shootings and speak out against violence targeting the transgender and other minority communities.

Several student groups organized the protest, including Students Against State Violence, the IU Black Student Union, IU’s Black Graduate Student Association, the African Student Association, Students for a Democratic Society, Indy10 Black Lives Matter, IDOC Watch, GlobeMed and Btown Justice.

The protest also included speakers, a balloon release and a march through downtown. Hundreds of students attended the event.

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