Protests Over Weekend Lead To Arrests, Clashes With Police

May 31, 2020

A young woman occupies the intersection of Clinton and Main streets Saturday evening, praying. Moments later she was arrested.
Credit Rebecca Green / WBOI

Friday and Saturday saw violent ends to what began as peaceful protests in Fort Wayne over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

According to the Fort Wayne Police Department, there were 29 people arrested Friday night as clashes with police ran into 2 a.m. Saturday.

Windows were smashed, planters tipped over and other vandalism occurred throughout the downtown area.

 

The situation deteriorated even more on Saturday with the conflicts breaking out earlier in the day, particularly over the protesters’ occupation of the intersection of Clinton and Main streets and the Courthouse Green.

 

The Allen County Sheriff’s Department took over the management of the area on Saturday. By 8 p.m. violent clashes with protesters had taken place in front of Citizens Square, the intersection of Clinton and Main streets and Friemann Square Park. 

 

Pepper spray, tear gas canisters, and batons drove protesters into Friemann Square where police threatened them with arrest if they did not disperse, but then made it difficult to leave the area by blocking surrounding exit points.

Close to 70 people were arrested Saturday, one officer was taken to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, and a protester suffered the loss of an eye when he was hit in the face by a projectile fired by police.

Protests continued Sunday afternoon, with prayer vigils also occurring around the city. By 10 p.m., it appeared the protests remained peaceful, with a handful of Fort Wayne police officers walking with the crowd to the Martin Luther King Bridge, according to social media posts.