INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Metro police say seven people were arrested and two officers injured after protesters threw rocks at officers trying to keep the peace downtown Saturday night.
A rally of some 500 anti-Trump protesters gathered on the south lawn of the Statehouse Saturday evening.
Police described the rally as very peaceful. But it was after the rally that the tone began to change.
Around 6:30 p.m several hundred people from the rally took to the streets around downtown.
One part of the group marched from the Statehouse to Monument Circle and then on to other streets.
At one point marchers were blocking all lanes of Illinois Street going against the flow of traffic.
Officers attempted to provide safe passage for the protesters by halting traffic and blocking off streets.
Shortly after 8 p.m. a group of protesters gathered at Illinois and Washington Streets and began making threats, chanting, “Kill the police.”
As officers began to move in on the instigators, they were pelted with rocks and bottles. Two police officers were struck. Their injuries were described as minor.
When the crowd refused to move, police used horse patrol officers, and pepper spray to help disperse the crowds.
A total of seven people were taken into custody. They were later identified as Cody Clark, Leah Humphrey, Charles York, Erin Marshal, Randall Mayhugh, Sara Marshall and Lukas Pamer. Police say three of them are from out of town and four others are local residents.
All seven of the suspects are facing one or more of the following charges:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Resisting Law Enforcement
- Impeding Traffic
Police commended the original rally organizers for holding a peaceful gathering. However, Police Chief Troy Riggs said he was very disappointed with what developed some four hours after the rally.
Police received reports that some protesters showed up with backpacks filled with rocks and would like to hear from anyone who might have further information.
Chief Riggs said he believes some of those arrested were attempting to incite a riot.
Chief Riggs added, "Our Officers did everything they could to protect the First Amendment rights of these citizens, but when there is violence, we have to take action."
By 9:30 p.m., the crowd had moved on and downtown streets were able to reopen.