George Floyd protests continue

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- One week ago, Monday, George Floyd pleaded for his life on a street in Minneapolis pinned under the knee of a now former police officer.

Since then protests have broken out all across the country. Including some locally.

Evansville police are preparing for more potential protests. They tell us they’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Saturday the protest that started at the Four Freedoms Monument near the Evansville riverfront ended here and ended with three people in handcuffs.

Now, fencing is up and these orange barriers are ready in case police need to block off Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard for another protest.

Most agree Saturday’s demonstration in Evansville started peacefully.

“I was really pleased that so many people came out. Please let so many people were motivated to come out to express themselves in a peaceful manner,” Mayor Winnecke says.

However, three people were arrested when the protest moved to the Civic Center. Courtney Johnson says he understands why some frustrations are reaching the boiling point.

“A tough time right now obviously and we’ve seen things happen over and over again and a lot of people are just tired of it and frustrated,” Johnson says.

Johnson says he wants to commend protesters who stand up for what they believe, but he says there are a lot of poor comments.

“I’ll speak on my experience in Evansville. It is rough to see all the comments and all the things on social media,” Johnson explains.

“I hope that people watch what’s going on in other cities and say we don’t want that here. We don’t want the destruction and the mayham in the chaos that’s occurring in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, pick a city,” Winnecke continues.

Johnson says the protests are aimed at making sure what happened to Floyd does not happen again, “that’s why I feel like we’re supporting because it can happen and we don’t want it to happen.”

“I’ve never walked in the shoes of a police officer. I know that our police officers are trained to do the right thing. I also know another human being and in a moment of stress anything could happen,” Mayor Winnecke says. “So I’m not so naïve to think it would never happen. I hope it does not. I hope it does not.”

More demonstrations have taken place today with a group of people gathering near the Civic Center.

Winnecke says if they need it EPD will have the support from the sheriff’s office and state police to keep protests from getting out of hand.

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(This story was originally published on June 1, 2020.)

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