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Processing Protest Cases Will Take At Least A Month

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Rebecca Green
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WBOI News

With dozens arrested over the past weeks of protests in Allen County, there have been public questions about what will become of those charged.

 

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Credit Rebecca Green / WBOI News
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WBOI News
Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards expects it will be at least 30 days before her staff wades through the hundreds of hours of footage from the first, violent, weekend of protests for racial justice in downtown Fort Wayne.

Nearly 100 people have been arrested during the protests, which sprung up around the globe in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

Each of those cases will be individually reviewed to determine whether the case will go forward or be dismissed, Richard says.

Richards says she wants a holistic review of the cases.

 

“A rush to judgment without looking at evidence always ends up with a bad result," she said."I think it’s an important thing for us to do the same here.”

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Credit Allen County Sheriff's Department
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Juan Pablo Gonzalez is facing high-level felony charges in connection to violence at a recent protest

In one of the cases, against Elkhart man Juan Gonzalez, prosecutors asked for his bond to be increased. Gonzalez has a prior history of violence in California, and is charged with a level 2 felony of battery to a law enforcement officer and detonating an explosive with intent.

His tattoos indicate membership in Sur 13, a Mexican gang, according to court documents.

But outside of Gonzalez, the majority of cases are misdemeanors such as refusing to leave an emergency area and disorderly conduct.

Rebecca manages the news at WBOI. She joined the staff in December 2017, and brought with her nearly two decades of experience in print journalism, including 15 years as an award-winning reporter for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne.